As millions of Americans sat down to eat Thursday, millions of nurses went to work this Thanksgiving.
The COVID-19 crisis has put major stress on the health care industry when it comes to working conditions and shortages.
“I immediately have to put my mask on and a shield and I wear glasses to read so that’s a bit of a dilemma,” said Jayne Hollywood, an OBGYN nurse at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz.
She went from working eight to 12 hour shifts during this COVID crisis and she said her time at work is exhausting.
“If I get a chance when I’m not in a room, if I can run into the bathroom for a 30 second break I’ll quickly take the mask off and shield and breathe, breathe, breathe,” said Hollywod.
Nurses are the frontline heroes in this COVID fight during this holiday. With over 261,000 lives lost, nurses are worried about their families.
“What we have been struggling with is what do we do with our kids,” said another nurse. “If it comes to a point where we feel we can’t keep them safe, that includes potentially sending them with a relative away from us.”
Nurses are stressed and in demand. The country is experiencing a nursing shortage. That shortage means there may not be a bed and a nurse available for you if you get sick.
“I think all of us in this field feel very strongly that discretion is the better part of valor that we should not gather in large numbers during the holidays,” said Standord Dr. Dean Winslow.
With the large number of people traveling this Thanksgiving, hospitals are expecting an influx of COVID patients.
Hollywood is not sure what to expect when she returns to work after the holiday. The only thing she knows is that she’ll be ready.
“I love my job, I love what I do, I just take on what we need to take on,” she said.