Understaffing During Pandemic Impacting Hospital Stays

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In most scenarios prior to COVID-19, family members with loved ones in the hospital often helped with simple tasks for the patient, but now those duties are solely falling on nurses and hospital staff. 

From his hospital bed, John Place detailed his painful experience dealing with coronavirus on Facebook Live.

"At 6:30, I asked the nurse bring me ice," he said. "You know when I got my ice ... 10:30 at night."

At Jackson Health System, 200 employees -- about 1.5% of the workforce -- were not working after testing positive for COVID-19, a Jackson spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

"Every hospital in Miami-Dade County and South Florida has enough beds, said Jackson Health CEO Carlos Migoya. "The issue that we have is really staffing, nobody staffs up to the amount of beds that we are talking about right now."

Gov. Ron DeDantis previously said he is asking the federal government for 1,500 nurses to respond to the surge in cases.

Place's wife, Michelle Zymet, says one of the most difficult things about the virus is that she can’t be by her husband’s side to help him and get up-to-date information. So she’s relying on nurses and hospital staff.

"They’re my lifeline. They’re all I have to connect me to my husband right now," Zymet said. "Tell me how he’s doing, can I see him."

Vicki Gonzalez with the local nurse’s union SEIU Local 1991 says nurses everywhere are trying their best, and that undressing and dressing in the personal protective equipment is a lot of work.

"Please be patient. We are doing everything we can for your loved ones," Gonzalez said. "As nurses, that is our calling and that’s what we are here for."

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