2020 has been a year that kicked everyone’s pants on the planet. And if you don’t have pants, it set your house on fire. 2020 is like that ex that you never really dated, but is obsessed with you for some reason and when you don’t show them attention they…you know commit arson. But it looks like thanks to the pandemic and all it’s mismanagements, we’ll have less nurses to help take care of sick & dying in the coming years.
With hospitals maxing out of beds due to an influx of COVID-19 cases, they are stressed and new nurses aren’t being hired. Hospitals are claiming they can’t spend money and PPE’s on training incoming nurses. Of course if the Trump administration had focused on the production of PPE’s in the very beginning of the pandemic we probably wouldn’t be in a mess like this. Hell even GE employees went on strike to stop building jet engines to focus on producing protective equipment.
To produce jet engines when flights are grounded is…well dumb. Aren’t CEOs supposed to be smart? Isn’t that a justification society uses to keep billionaires around? I think this pandemic has proved a lot of things, and one of those things is that more money you have, the more it rots your brain cells. Hell, Jeff Bezos kept his warehouse open even after there were several positive cases. That’s at best dumb. At worst it’s callous and heartless and inhumane. Those are the only options for for the brain capacity of billionaires. Inhumane or dumb. Either way, they shouldn’t be in-charge of anything that involves living things.
This hiring freeze is affecting the veteran nurses who are in the thick of dealing with COVID-19 patients. They’re working grueling hours, double shifts, while dealing with the deadliest virus we’ve seen this side of the century. A fresh new crop of nurses would be of immense help these veterans. Perhaps instead of trillion upon trillions given to Wall St. if the States had invested in creating triage centers and ensuring new nurses can be hired and trained maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t be in a mess like this.
Hospitals are looking at these new incoming nurses and saying they’re a waste of training hours, money & equipment. So if these new nurses who would be the future of medicine and caring of patients are looked at as dollar signs and a waste of equipment, why would they continue in an industry that has stopped caring about them?
According to NPR, an average registered nurse makes roughly $113k a year, along with the thousands upon thousands of dollars of debt from schooling. Now a lot of people get into medicine, not because they’d be making bucco-bucks but because they want to help folks! And if the industry bars them from doing that, why would they stick around in that industry? It’d be like going to your favorite restaurant, but as they bring you your meal, you slapped across the face by the owner. The meal is probably still good, but your face hurts as you attempt to enjoy your food. And you’re left puzzled as to what you did to get slapped in the face!
Veteran nurses are looking for help. To them the pressure of dealing with COVID patients, regular patients and all the paperwork involved would be eased with new nurses coming in. Plus they wouldn’t need to work long hours and that means less mistakes and less death. Overall in the long run that means a better financial situation for the hospital too. But unfortunately, this is a healthcare system run by Capitalism and the long run has never mattered. In Capitalism, it’s really about the short term. It’s race to make the most money in the shortest time possible. Bonus points if you leave corpses and tired bodies in your wake.
A healthcare system run by Capitalism is like a lawyer’s commercial. Every lawyer commercial promises you they can cash now, not a bunch of money over the long term. This is the same way. Hospitals are looking to make cash now, not look to future of caring for patients. This is why Andrew Cuomo cut 500 hospital beds in Brooklyn just before the pandemic and during the pandemic he gave billionaires a tax break while cutting $400 million from Medicaid to secure the healthcare system. The short term option made him cash now! In the long term it cost the state of New York lives, but hey, a few extra billionaires might vacation in the Finger Lakes, so I guess it’s all worth it right Andy?
It was astounding that a lot of Americans were clamoring for a man like Andrew Cuomo to run to President. And based on his riveting briefings, which included things like what day of the week it was and what his kids had for breakfast that day, he might be the neoliberal top contender for the Presidential Platitude machine in 2024!
Nurses across the nation went on Strike several times over the last 9 months over the poor treatment and conditions they have to work under. It’s almost like they were trying to send a warning to the powers that be that they won’t stand to be treated this way. The only reason they returned to their posts was because the COVID surge skyrocketed in their respective cities ands states. And the reason they surged the way they did is because of faulty leadership.
As if the hiring issue wasn’t enough, thanks to the uncertainty of how to deal with the education system, teaching new nurses their skill and trade has also come under fire. The turnover for nursing professors is high partly due to pay. Nursing Professors are making on average $60k/year. That’s a little over half what RN’s make. But during the pandemic, there were other challenges that presented themselves.
Because the only institution that was trying to figure out how to educate people during the Pandemic was the American Teacher Federation, all hell broke loose during this semester. For Nursing the challenge was not only class sizes but proper training for those in the program. There were more applicants to these programs but not enough room to accept all of them. And those that were accepted had the challenge of hands on training in the medical field. It’s not like nurses and doctors can learn how to administer a proper IV virtually by playing Milton Bradley’s Operation.
If there are less nurses and doctors being accepted into these programs and less getting hired, over the course of the next 10 years it’ll affect the quality of healthcare people receive. Over worked nurses will quit. Nancy Pelosi and her pro-corporate cohorts like to call nurses ‘Heroes’ and they are, but these Congressional Cretins don’t treat them like they are.
Look the reality is that the American government knew about this situation before March. American hubris prevented us from taking action, because the virus dare not enter the sanctity of the United States. Well not unless it files the right immigration paperwork…but it did dare. Instead of taking action to help people & its front-line workers, the United States Government chose to use platitudes and pointless displays of empty thanks to it’s Healthcare heroes, while enriching the banks, the insurance agencies and big pharma!
“Look over there, it’s a bird and a plane to honor people we kinda don’t give a shit but need to exploit for our profit! Gaze into its shininess!”
And there was knowledge of the Fall resurgence as well, which means they could’ve taken all the precautions they failed to take in March. The US spent $400 million in displays of Military power instead of using that amount to help their Healthcare Heroes and the American people. In the next decade to come, the less than average healthcare services won’t be because of bad doctors or nurses but because of the Democrats and Republicans who set them up to fail from Day 1!
There is an opportunity here. An opportunity to better than the healthcare system for patients and its staff. Realizing healthcare is a human right will not only mean that people don’t drown in Medical Debt but Nurses and Doctors can receive the proper equipment and care they need to ensure a healthy populace. Universal Healthcare isn’t just good for people, but also doctors & nurses. It’s good for improving the quality of healthcare in general. It’s good for humanity.
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!