Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

Sure, you watch the clips of citizens applauding hospital workers at change of shift and I dare you not to tear up. There are countless commercials showing support of truckers to front line workers, praising them, but … no one is showing long-term care workers.

Someone dies of COVID-19 sitting in chairs for hours in an ER without ever being seen, and no one blinks. A frail 90-year-old — the MOST susceptible to COVID-19 — with heart disease, COPD and diabetes, dies while you are treating in place and next thing you know, you are facing an infection control survey. Oh, and if the media gets wind, you will be vilified in the press. 

The PPE you ordered is diverted to the hospitals because, well, they OBVIOUSLY need it more than we do. So here we are, taking care of COVID-19 positive residents, who can’t follow directions and keep their homemade face mask on while we are wearing either a homemade mask or the same surgical mask we’ve worn for days, while everyone else gets lauded but us. And guess what: Our staff know the risk and they keep coming, unprotected, understaffed, underpaid (compared to hospital staff) but they keep showing up!

Well I’ve got a news flash for you, world: Heroes work here too. So, come on America, show us some love. Skilled nursing facility workers are ALSO true heroes!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.