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Why should health care workers continue to work in high risk environments?

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Why should health care workers continue to work in high risk environments?

Old 07-19-20, 10:54 AM
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Why should health care workers continue to work in high risk environments?

Why should health care workers continue to work in high risk environments when the society they service won't do what it takes to lower that risk?
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Old 07-19-20, 11:21 AM
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A good portion of "Health Care" has nothing to do with COVID, and there are a variety of causes that can bring a person into the health care system including accidents and trauma, as well as other illnesses.

There are some individuals who are being maximally cautious about the virus. And others that aren't. And, a variety of circumstances can lead to catching the disease.

Should society shun everyone that gets the illness? What about Doctors and Nurses that catch COVID on the job? Should they be treated as lepers? Perhaps a kindergarten kid brought the virus home from daycare, then infected the family.
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Old 07-19-20, 11:50 AM
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I think you missed the question. It addresses health care workers who are working in high risk environments, not all health care workers.
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Old 07-19-20, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by peugeot mongrel View Post
Why should health care workers continue to work in high risk environments when the society they service won't do what it takes to lower that risk?
Because they may want to continue to do so?
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Old 07-19-20, 12:43 PM
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....obviously, a lot of them are considering this question. Depending on personal circumstances (finances and responsibilities to support family), a lot of them are going to bail. I often wondered about this myself when I was working in a risky job, but by the time I started having serious resservations, I was so close to retirement age that it didn't make much sense (for me). When it really starts to hurt is when there are fewer people going into those jobs/professional fields because the rewards don't match the risk profile.

But there are plenty of people who need to work, are out of work, and will be willing to accept whatever risks are involved in the coming years. When your health care workers are only showing up for the paycheck...that's when things start rolling downhill.
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Old 07-19-20, 12:56 PM
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Speaking for my wife and I, we didn’t have a financially viable choice to make regarding work. It was either go to work and have jobs, or quit. We chose to work. Many of our colleagues were furloughed for a while and they indeed received more income while not working than they would have if they were punching in every day, but that was not a choice they could make. It was thrust upon them. Interestingly, not one complained about it, at least none whose protestations reached my ears.

Our furloughed staff has returned, and there are very few cases anywhere near our location, no new cases in our county for a few weeks now. Life is interesting, still. I would love a “you worked through the scary times” bonus, but it will never come. It’s just part of working in healthcare. It sucks sometimes. The rest of the time it’s much worse.

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Old 07-19-20, 11:24 PM
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As a former health care worker and military veteran I believe the front line health care workers on the COVID-19 battle should receive hazardous duty pay and lifetime benefits to ensure they're taken care of the same way we take care of veterans.
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Old 07-20-20, 04:04 AM
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health care is a PROFESSION and with it should go dedication to service. professionalism in ameriKan health care is secondary to profit$
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Old 07-20-20, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jack pot View Post
health care is a PROFESSION and with it should go dedication to service. professionalism in ameriKan health care is secondary to profit$
That's in part because the people making the most money out of the health care system have nothing to do with providing health care. They often know nothing about health care.

Take Rick Scott for example. When I was young, the highest paid people in health care were the hospital execs who often had been top physicians. Those folks and the crack surgeons made all the money. And while they made good money, they did not get filthy rich. Then the Rick Scotts came along. Not really "health care professionals", their 'talent' was to figure how to squeeze the most money out of reimbursement system. Scott made tens of millions of dollars by devising coding schemes to bill medicare for the maximum amount for every patient. Much of this skirted the edge of the law. When his company came under fire he took the fifth amendment in court nearly 100 times to avoid answering questions on their business practices. They paid the largest fine ever. And he walked away with enough money to buy his way into the Florida Governor's office.

When running health care system was taken away from actual health care professionals and turned over to people whose only goal was to increase profits, the system started the slow decline that left us with the system we have today. There are still health care professionals who care deeply for the patients within the system, but they now have little voice in how that system operates.
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Old 07-20-20, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by peugeot mongrel View Post
Why should health care workers continue to work in high risk environments when the society they service won't do what it takes to lower that risk?
Hmmm. Makes me think of firefighters and police. They know their work can be dangerous, yet they continue to do the work.
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Old 07-20-20, 08:17 AM
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They swear an oath saying that they aren't going to stand around and watch people die.

I do get the point, though. It is frustrating when people don't cooperate. But I don't want a system that refuses care to smokers, drug addicts and fat people either.

I also don't want a system that dispenses care based on one's ability to pay.
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Old 07-20-20, 09:08 AM
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While I appreciate the sentiment, the basis of the question stems from the common "victim mentality".

Those of us in healthcare are exposed to many things which can cause permanent harm, and about which the general public doesn't care. We go into it with full knowledge.

I think if Joe Biden is elected in November the grave concern we see regarding Covid will go away pretty quickly.
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Old 07-20-20, 09:09 AM
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While I appreciate the sentiment, the basis of the question stems from the common "victim mentality".

Those of us in healthcare are exposed to many things which can cause permanent harm, and about which the general public doesn't care. We go into it with full knowledge.

I think if Joe Biden is elected in November the grave concern we see regarding Covid will go away pretty quickly.
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Old 07-20-20, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ups View Post

I think if Joe Biden is elected in November the grave concern we see regarding Covid will go away pretty quickly.
I’ll take that bet.
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Old 07-20-20, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
They swear an oath saying that they aren't going to stand around and watch people die.

I do get the point, though. It is frustrating when people don't cooperate. But I don't want a system that refuses care to smokers, drug addicts and fat people either.

I also don't want a system that dispenses care based on one's ability to pay.
I agree... however in all health care there is a thing called triage... and if folks refuse to take care of themselves, be it by not wearing masks, smoking, eating fatty foods, refusing to exercise... should there not be some form of lower priority given to them verses those that do at least attempt to care for themselves? I understand for instance that on organ donor lists there is a priority given for those who are best suited health wise to receive the organs.

So "refuse to care," no, but equal care to those that abuse their bodies and the system... is that not a valid issue of discussion?

And yes, doctors do pledge to care for all... but "hospital beds" make no such claim.
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Old 07-20-20, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ups View Post
While I appreciate the sentiment, the basis of the question stems from the common "victim mentality".

Those of us in healthcare are exposed to many things which can cause permanent harm, and about which the general public doesn't care. We go into it with full knowledge.

I think if Joe Biden is elected in November the grave concern we see regarding Covid will go away pretty quickly.
You somehow believe COVID is politically motivated? Can you explain how those politics extend to the rest of the planet?
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Old 07-20-20, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
... smoking, eating fatty foods, refusing to exercise... should there not be some form of lower priority given to them verses those that do at least attempt to care for themselves? ... is that not a valid issue of discussion?
>>> well if that means riding a bicycle most everywhere you go gets you priority over everybody in america and maybe even gets you to the head of the vaccine line in 2025, im in
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Old 07-20-20, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
You somehow believe COVID is politically motivated? Can you explain how those politics extend to the rest of the planet?
Not saying it isn't real. Just the hysteria in the US is agenda driven. Same for other countries. The British model used to implement the lockdown's turned out to be, shall we be charitable, less than the highest quality science or computer engineering.


Experts say modelling that predicted 500,000 Covid-19 deaths is a mess https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ticle-masthead

https://fee.org/articles/npr-mounting-evidence-suggests-covid-not-as-deadly-as-thought-did-the-experts-fail-again/

Last edited by ups; 07-20-20 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 07-20-20, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ups View Post
Not saying it isn't real. Just the hysteria in the US is agenda driven. Same for other countries. The British model used to implement the lockdown's turned out to be, shall we be charitable, less than the highest quality science or computer engineering.


Experts say modelling that predicted 500,000 Covid-19 deaths is a mess https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ticle-masthead

https://fee.org/articles/npr-mountin...ts-fail-again/
By "hysteria," do you mean the mask stuff or what?

And yeah the UK didn't do such a great job either.

As far as experts failing... let's just say they did not have all the data, as this was something new, and everybody "wanted their numbers to look good."
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Old 07-20-20, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
As a former health care worker and military veteran I believe the front line health care workers on the COVID-19 battle should receive hazardous duty pay and lifetime benefits to ensure they're taken care of the same way we take care of veterans.
Do you know how poorly we take care of veterans? This country has a history of ignoring those who serve.
Here is the view from the VA.. https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/...y_in_brief.pdf
Now here is the view from far away... https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion...terans-poorly/
And a little closer to home... https://americaserves.org/what-ameri...-its-veterans/

Once any particular conflict or war has ended, the nation would just as soon clean the slate and get on with other matters at hand... and far too often the hapless GIs are part of what get's left behind. Early enthusiasm for "the troops" is often good, but fades quickly when it comes down to "allocating funds" at the legislative level.
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Old 07-20-20, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
By "hysteria," do you mean the mask stuff or what?

And yeah the UK didn't do such a great job either.

As far as experts failing... let's just say they did not have all the data, as this was something new, and everybody "wanted their numbers to look good."
We have more data now. Masks are valuable inside where high risk people are in close proximity with others. Otherwise, just like the annual flu season, this thing needs to run through the population.

Mostly I mean media driven hysteria to further their agenda. Sort of like when Brett Kavanaugh was recommended to the Supreme Court and mass hysteria surrounding sexual abuse "women must be believed!!!!!", well, until Joe Biden is accused, then....crickets.

It's just partisan politics where the media support their side. The second article I linked above states a similar theme with Iraqui WMD'S promoted by the right. Both sides do it. The left tends to be more skilled.
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Old 07-20-20, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Do you know how poorly we take care of veterans? This country has a history of ignoring those who serve.
Here is the view from the VA.. https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/...y_in_brief.pdf
Now here is the view from far away... https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion...terans-poorly/
And a little closer to home... https://americaserves.org/what-ameri...-its-veterans/

Once any particular conflict or war has ended, the nation would just as soon clean the slate and get on with other matters at hand... and far too often the hapless GIs are part of what get's left behind. Early enthusiasm for "the troops" is often good, but fades quickly when it comes down to "allocating funds" at the legislative level.
I also know how well veterans are cared for. I'm a VA client with regular urgent care and health maintenance appointments since I was hit by a car in 2018 and subsequently discovered to have cancer. I also have an auto immune disorder that's a PITA to diagnose and treat. Despite the pandemic the VA has continued to be as responsive as possible in my region (that emphasis on region is critical).

I was seen quickly after experiencing a posterior vitreous detachment this spring. I was worried it was a detached retina, but wasn't quite that bad. The ophthalmologist wore complete PPE (I wore an ordinary surgical mask) because the exam necessitated very close contact. Same with my follow up visit a month later. It was very reassuring. I'd never experienced eye problems before and the sudden visual disruption was alarming.

I receive calls at least monthly, usually more often, for cancer screening, and followups for my auto immune disorder and ortho problems (six vertebrae were broken in my back and neck in 2001, and my C1-C2 are permanently damaged). Most non-urgent care appointments now are handled by phone or postponed, but in person care is still available if the veteran insists. I don't. I'm in relatively good health despite some nagging issues, and I know the system is almost overwhelmed with veterans and health care workers suffering from COVID-19.

I emphasized region above because that factor is consistently omitted in most media reports of VA care.

I was a Navy Hospital Corpsman and very familiar with the old school military bureaucracy. I was also a civil servant (OSHA safety inspector) and am very familiar with the insider's view of the gummint, where it works well and where it fails.

The regional problem often omitted by most news media reports deals specifically with certain regions of the US that have practically intractable cultural problems. This is particularly troublesome in the Southeast, but a few other regions have problems as well. It's well known to insiders but seldom discussed with outsiders. If you make a list of the most egregious problems reported by the press you'll spot a pattern that's linked to certain regions.

This is one reason why there's been talk of privatizing VA health care. It's an indirect way of saying "We've tried and failed to fix the VA and other government agencies in certain regions from the inside. The problem is a recalcitrant bureaucracy in those regions." It's a problem that dates back decades, and ranges from corruption at the highest levels of management to indifference at the lowest levels where citizens interact with civil servants. The worst of the worst have included Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, with some problems in the rest of the South extending up to Virginia. There are also a few pockets of inadequate care in some parts of the Midwest.

Another issue is mental health care. I know from in-person and online discussions with other veterans that PTSD and mental illness are much more widespread than most folks realize. It can be extremely difficult to discuss any issues with folks who suffer from mental illnesses and substance abuse (often self medicating). Some folks will complain incessantly, often online on every social media outlet and news comment section. They'll demand better care but there's often an almost impenetrable barrier to providing that care. Some news analyses tend to emphasize those veterans while omitting anecdotes from veterans like me. As a former journalist I understand why that happens.

Fortunately that hasn't been a problem in Texas where I live. There are a number of reasons for it, ranging from differences in state/regional culture to the attitudes of administrators and elected officials.

And the hybrid model of VA/optional private practice health care has worked pretty well here. My immunologist is a private practitioner. I went with that option because it was readily available, while a VA immunologist would have taken a few months to see. But the vast majority of doctors working *with* the VA are not VA employees -- they're private practitioners contracted to the VA. So to me it doesn't make much difference. If the doctor is good and accessible, that's good enough.

My hometown also has a public health system that's considered a model for the entire US. I was briefly a client there and can say the VA here is far superior to that health care system.

Getting back to my original point about recognizing and rewarding the sacrifices of front line health care workers during the pandemic, know there are challenges but I still believe it's possible to treat them at least as well as I and other veterans have been treated by the VA.
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Old 07-20-20, 03:28 PM
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genec

One of the central tenets of the right-wing virus-minimizers is that Neil Ferguson was a dishonest alarmist who fraudulently modeled the COVID-19 pandemic death rate to precipitate the shutdown, and that he was forced to revise the model in disgrace.

What actually took place is that he (and the Imperial group in London) first modeled what would happen in the UK if the original idea of implementing zero social distancing restrictions and other restrictions like pub closures and business closures, in other words, let the disease run rampant with the idea of establishing herd immunity. (This was actually the UK's initial government policy, briefly). In other words, he modeled the worst-case scenario by design.

Then when the shutdowns, distancing and closures were implemented, he and the Imperial group modeled the death rate given the steps taken to control the pandemic.

The rest of it is simply right-wing pro-Trump, anti-science propaganda.
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Old 07-20-20, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I also know how well veterans are cared for. I'm a VA client with regular urgent care and health maintenance appointments since I was hit by a car in 2018 and subsequently discovered to have cancer. I also have an auto immune disorder that's a PITA to diagnose and treat. Despite the pandemic the VA has continued to be as responsive as possible in my region (that emphasis on region is critical).

I was seen quickly after experiencing a posterior vitreous detachment this spring. I was worried it was a detached retina, but wasn't quite that bad. The ophthalmologist wore complete PPE (I wore an ordinary surgical mask) because the exam necessitated very close contact. Same with my follow up visit a month later. It was very reassuring. I'd never experienced eye problems before and the sudden visual disruption was alarming.

I receive calls at least monthly, usually more often, for cancer screening, and followups for my auto immune disorder and ortho problems (six vertebrae were broken in my back and neck in 2001, and my C1-C2 are permanently damaged). Most non-urgent care appointments now are handled by phone or postponed, but in person care is still available if the veteran insists. I don't. I'm in relatively good health despite some nagging issues, and I know the system is almost overwhelmed with veterans and health care workers suffering from COVID-19.

I emphasized region above because that factor is consistently omitted in most media reports of VA care.

I was a Navy Hospital Corpsman and very familiar with the old school military bureaucracy. I was also a civil servant (OSHA safety inspector) and am very familiar with the insider's view of the gummint, where it works well and where it fails.

The regional problem often omitted by most news media reports deals specifically with certain regions of the US that have practically intractable cultural problems. This is particularly troublesome in the Southeast, but a few other regions have problems as well. It's well known to insiders but seldom discussed with outsiders. If you make a list of the most egregious problems reported by the press you'll spot a pattern that's linked to certain regions.

This is one reason why there's been talk of privatizing VA health care. It's an indirect way of saying "We've tried and failed to fix the VA and other government agencies in certain regions from the inside. The problem is a recalcitrant bureaucracy in those regions." It's a problem that dates back decades, and ranges from corruption at the highest levels of management to indifference at the lowest levels where citizens interact with civil servants. The worst of the worst have included Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, with some problems in the rest of the South extending up to Virginia. There are also a few pockets of inadequate care in some parts of the Midwest.

Another issue is mental health care. I know from in-person and online discussions with other veterans that PTSD and mental illness are much more widespread than most folks realize. It can be extremely difficult to discuss any issues with folks who suffer from mental illnesses and substance abuse (often self medicating). Some folks will complain incessantly, often online on every social media outlet and news comment section. They'll demand better care but there's often an almost impenetrable barrier to providing that care. Some news analyses tend to emphasize those veterans while omitting anecdotes from veterans like me. As a former journalist I understand why that happens.

Fortunately that hasn't been a problem in Texas where I live. There are a number of reasons for it, ranging from differences in state/regional culture to the attitudes of administrators and elected officials.

And the hybrid model of VA/optional private practice health care has worked pretty well here. My immunologist is a private practitioner. I went with that option because it was readily available, while a VA immunologist would have taken a few months to see. But the vast majority of doctors working *with* the VA are not VA employees -- they're private practitioners contracted to the VA. So to me it doesn't make much difference. If the doctor is good and accessible, that's good enough.

My hometown also has a public health system that's considered a model for the entire US. I was briefly a client there and can say the VA here is far superior to that health care system.

Getting back to my original point about recognizing and rewarding the sacrifices of front line health care workers during the pandemic, know there are challenges but I still believe it's possible to treat them at least as well as I and other veterans have been treated by the VA.
Fair response... I have not had to access VA healthcare. I am glad you pointed out that it is a regional issue... and one likely of poor local administration, where it fails.

I am a Vietnam vet, and can tell you that our return was a bit less "enthusiastic" than that which the more recent vets are getting. And yes, there is a difference between the VA, the public and the legislation for veteran care. I did access veteran benefits when I bought my first home... and they helped considerably there. That is my example of vets being treated well.

I also accessed the GI Bill, and did so for a short while, until Reagan cut it off. That is my example of poor treatment. I was left high and dry and basically had to scramble to finish my college education. I and hands full of other GIs were enrolled and attending college, and rather than figure out how to take care of us, and run out our benefits as promised, Reagan just drew a line in the sand and said goodbye.

Again, we are talking different organizations, all geared to offer different benefits to returning service folks.
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Old 07-20-20, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Hmmm. Makes me think of firefighters and police. They know their work can be dangerous, yet they continue to do the work.
...I can honestly say that the first few years, I was driven by an ideal of public service. By the time the last four or five years rolled around, I was just doing it for the money. After you get hurt a couple of times, you quickly realize that the people you work for don't much care. There are younger and stronger people who will do the same job for less money. Forget what you saw in the movies.
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