Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Nurses from Tucson Medical Center are imploring the public to help slow surging COVID-19 rates as hospitals approach capacity, compromising the ability to treat patients.
Pima County alone has reported 7,711 coronavirus cases in the first nine days of December. Hospital admissions are rising to higher levels than during the summer surge.
Along with a letter from its nurses, TMC is launching a campaign titled “#InThisTogether,” asking the public to adhere to safety measures while spotlighting care providers in a social media campaign.
"We’ve held the hands of patients because their families can’t. We’ve watched as cases soar, as schools close and as the hospital nears or reaches capacity almost daily. Yet, we keep going.” -TMC Nurse Managers
“We’ve been here for you when you need us the most for more than 75 years. Now, we need you. We work day in and day out caring for our community, then we go home to care for our own families, scared we might bring the virus home and worried about what the future will bring,” the letter said. “We’ve held the hands of patients because their families can’t. We’ve watched as cases soar, as schools close and as the hospital nears or reaches capacity almost daily. Yet, we keep going."
The nurses acknowledged that following coronavirus safety protocols can be tiresome, but as workers on the frontline of the pandemic, they’re experiencing much more dire consequences.
“We are tired, too. We are tired of seeing young people, our elders and everyone in between on ventilators. We are tired of watching people we know get sick from this virus,” the letter said. “Our co-workers are getting sick and we are short-staffed. It is becoming more difficult to transfer patients who have critical needs to hospitals that have ICU capacity for greater levels of care.”
According to the letter, TMC has activated surge plans to expand COVID-19 bed capacity while recruiting healthcare workers to care for an increasing number of patients.
The letter said the upcoming weeks are critical to slow the spread and give hospitals a chance to catch up.
“Our community has done so much, but now is not the time to give up. We are spending our holidays caring for sick patients. We are asking you, our beloved community, to think about your loved ones and make a few more sacrifices.
“Please heed the advice of public health experts by washing your hands, wearing your mask in public and staying home with your families. Please stop socializing in person with multiple households for a while.”
The letter from nurse managers Judy Rich, Mimi Coomler and Joy Upshaw pleads with the public to continue following safety guidelines in a joint effort between healthcare staff and the community they care for.
“We need our community to rally behind us. We need support and encouragement. We need each other. We are in this together, and we will get through this together.”
To our community, We are writing this letter from the front lines of TMC HealthCare. We are not strangers. We are your...Posted by Tucson Medical Center on Wednesday, December 9, 2020