Episode 10: Allison Nichols on COVID-19 and Hospital Emergency Room Social Work

The lack of widespread screening means the coronavirus may well be present in countless hospital wards without anyone realizing it. Accordingly, many emergency-room workers are now behaving as if they’re already infected and separating from their families. One ER doctor said he has been sleeping in the guest bedroom for weeks. Other doctors have sent their families off to stay at second homes. 

The majority of workers who keep America’s hospitals running don’t have the salary to afford extra bedrooms, much less extra properties. For technicians, respiratory therapists, social workers, chaplains, first responders, cleaning staff, and many others, doing their job is an act of moral complexity. Without enough PPE, they’re putting their own health at risk every time they report for duty, as well as that of their families. With that we say, thank you for your service!

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