I am an ICU nurse. We are drowning.
“Tears and sweat drown my face as I try to rip off my PPE and exit the room. I didn’t want to leave him, but I couldn’t bear another second in that reality. A whirlwind of emotions crash over me, and my knees weaken. I thought, “If I can just get this gown and mask off, I’ll be able to breathe again.” Even after ripping the damp N95 from my face, I was still breathless, speechless, and broken in disbelief of what happened in that room. I was suffocating. I nearly collapsed as I stepped through the barrier of his room with my coworkers there to catch me. Never in my life had I felt that level of hysteria as COVID showed us that what we were fearing was actually much worse than we could’ve imagined. This became the new standard for the worst night I’ve ever had.
The best way I can describe the frontlines is trying to scream as loud as you can while underwater. We are all underwater, trapped in our fishbowl-like glass rooms behind closed doors, praying that someone will hear us. Imagine being the only thing standing between life and death for another human being, and everything you need to keep them alive is through a glass door that you can not open. While screaming underwater. We are drowning.”
Lauren Powers is a critical care nurse.
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “I am an ICU nurse. We are drowning.“
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