B.C. nurse shows strain on frontline of COVID-19 battle | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. nurse shows strain on frontline of COVID-19 battle

An Abbotsford nurse posted a picture of herself reaching what she described as a "breaking point" alongside an emotional plea for people to take all the COVID-19 precautions necessary after watching another patient die.
Image Credit: INSTAGRAM/Kendall Skuta
April 21, 2021 - 10:38 AM

An Abbotsford nurse posted a picture of herself reaching what she described as a "breaking point" alongside an emotional plea for people to take all the COVID-19 precautions necessary after watching another patient die.

“This is me during a particularly hard shift. I felt like I had reached my breaking point and I wanted to remember the feeling. Why? I honestly don’t know, but I felt compelled to take a photo,” Kendall Skuta, who works at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, said in the Instagram post that has since gone viral.

“I was on the COVID ward and a patient had just cardiac arrested. People ran from all over the hospital and rushed to get their PPE on so they could help. We were running supplies to and from the room, everyone was taking turns pounding on the patient’s chest, praying for a sign of life again. It didn’t look good. CPR was performed for 35 minutes. The patient didn’t make it. He wasn’t even 60 years old. He had no major pre-existing conditions.”

Skuta said the man was transferred out of ICU because he appeared to be doing better.

“I’m sure his partner was sleeping well that night knowing he was making progress. Instead, his family received a call at 2 a.m. with news that he had just died,” she wrote.

The amount of death she’s seen in the last year weighs on her every day, she wrote.

“I can’t count the number of times I’ve ran to a bathroom or an empty stock room to take five minutes to cry by myself behind my mask. But after those five minutes, I have to pick myself up and do my job,” she said.

“I ask myself every day 'when will this all end?' and 'when will people take this seriously?'"

Skuta ended her note with a plea for people to stay home, wear a mask, and get vaccinated, if eligible. We are all exhausted, and I don’t know how much more pain my heart can take.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have said in recent days the health care system is starting to get overwhelmed with new cases at a time when workers have been on the front lines battling the disease for more than a year already.

“Contact tracing is exhausting but it is the people who are working on the front lines in the hospitals, who are seeing people coming onto the emergency departments, families coming into the emergency departments, being admitted to the ward, being admitted to ICU and, then, hearing things that are happening out there in the community about people not paying attention, not taking it seriously,” Dr. Henry said Monday, April 19.

“They get very discouraged. When you’ve been doing this day in, day out for a year-and-a-half it wears people down. There’s been a narrative out there in the last few weeks of: ‘We are overreacting. No one is paying attention.’ That is hard for people who are going to work every single day and they’re looking after their families, who are doing those overtime shifts and getting more and more concerned that there are people coming in and they won’t be able to care for them appropriately.

“It is a wake up call to all of us that we need to do our bit as well.”


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