Health workers may flee in pandemic panic

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posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 07:01 AM
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Health workers may flee in pandemic panic


www.newscientist.com

HEALTHCARE workers will desert their posts in droves in a pandemic, unless the safety and psychological issues they face are addressed. So say surveys of doctors, nurses and other staff, such as lab techs, secretaries and porters, from around the world.
The worst predictions are for the UK, where as few as 15 per cent of workers would show up in a pandemic. Elsewhere, the figures are better but still worrying. Two Australian surveys suggest that 60 to 80 per cent of workers would go to work
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 07:01 AM
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Sounds great, here is the country crippled by Flu and the health workers run for the hills, this sort of thing really worrys me and a lot of these workers need to really question their chosen occupation before taking up training and the government wasting tax payers money on them when at the first instance of the SHTF they bugger off.

I especially love the fact the UK is one of the lowest turnouts in the world when it has the best pay rates in Europe and some of the best equipment and training

www.newscientist.com
(visit the link for the full news article)


[edit on 4/6/09 by On the level]



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 07:35 AM
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In a pandemic, clinical staff would take priority in getting vaccines and drugs, but their families probably wouldn't,
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I think that's the answer right there.

These people have families. If they close down the schools, some of the workers might not have child care and would have to stay home.

Some just wouldn't want to infect their family.

The others don't want to get infected themselves.

I think those who do show up will greatly help and should be greatly rewarded with $$$.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 07:36 AM
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Pretty harsh news, I think though that the staff at the thin end of the wedge would "snap" first... I was in hospital yesterday - Manchester Royal Infirmary A&E, it was dilapidated and unclean, there didn't seem to be a lot of staff and there was a fairly long wait - this was the middle of the day on a Wednesday. I think if there was a pandemic, that resources would quickly become very stretched and run out, leaving staff with little they could realistically do in a high-stress job.

Let's face it, it is a high stress job, not necessarily to do with availability of facilities, but due to long working hours and lots of stress. I think most doctors and nurses are doing the best they can with little benefit.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 07:49 AM
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Originally posted by jokei
I was in hospital yesterday... - it was dilapidated and unclean, there didn't seem to be a lot of staff and there was a fairly long wait - this was the middle of the day on a Wednesday. I think if there was a pandemic, that resources would quickly become very stretched and run out


That's it right there. Health systems world wide are already broken. Doctors and nurses aren't stupid, they know there is little they can do against the flu anyway so why would they want to go to work in conditions that are even more chaotic, sub-standard and horrific than usual and put themselves and their families at risk?

Without quarantining and other preventive measures, a pandemic would make hospitals ground zero. But look at how much debate and outcry there has been about the very little quarantining that has been done so far. In order to make the situation manageable there needs to be a total lock-down of infected individuals - or just prepare for complete chaos.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 07:58 AM
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Originally posted by PamieIn a pandemic, clinical staff would take priority in getting vaccines and drugs, but their families probably wouldn't,


Yes healthcare and other emergency workers would get the first available vaccines, assuming there WAS a vaccine. And even if their was, many are only marginally effective (the flu vaccine for instance, it is not 100%).

The government (or hospitals) should have a back-up plan to provide child/elder care for the families of the medical personnel. But realistically if things get really bad a lot of emergency workers are going to worry about their families first and foremost.

Look at what happened in New Orleans. When their family is in serious danger many of them see that as the first priority (a lot of police took care of their family first). If the wife and or kids are begging them to stay home because of illness or civil unrest what are they going to do? Say NO I am going to take care of strangers instead? Tough position to be in.

[edit on 4-6-2009 by Sonya610]



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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I dont blame the healthcare workers one bit, they dont get paid to die. Id probably call in and quit, not worth dying over. If it was a regular illness then Id goto work but if its a high mortality rate flu you can count me out.



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 01:24 PM
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They dont get paid to die however they do get paid to look after their patients. I think if you do the job of say a GP you should really hold the welfare of your patients up with the welfare of your families. I do agree though that their are no vaccines for the serious flu and if there is any on the drawing board we will be the last ones to get it. I just posted this as I was shocked after the census only 15% would turn up for work, seems rather selfish to me



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by On the level
They dont get paid to die however they do get paid to look after their patients. I think if you do the job of say a GP you should really hold the welfare of your patients up with the welfare of your families.


How realistic do you think that is? Would you put your welfare ahead of your own family?



I do agree though that their are no vaccines for the serious flu and if there is any on the drawing board we will be the last ones to get it. I just posted this as I was shocked after the census only 15% would turn up for work, seems rather selfish to me


Selfish? Perhaps, but I doubt I would see you running towards the hospital with a pair of gloves ready to help out. Becoming a doctor or a nurse is not a suicide pact.

At some point it becomes untenable and you head home. Its really that simple.




I especially love the fact the UK is one of the lowest turnouts in the world when it has the best pay rates in Europe and some of the best equipment and training


Best pay en Europe eh? Shiny new equipment? MD's and nurses are not really children to be bought off with shiny toys and beads eh?

You sound much like one of my adminstrators who equates new gear with happy staff :shk: That in no way compensates for the hours, holidays and weekends we have to put in. Nor does it mean as noted above I have to hang around as see if I can die too.

[edit on 6/4/09 by FredT]



posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 07:35 PM
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To be fair this is a tough one, yes doctors should be there for the "love and dedication" of their job as should other medical staff, as should politicians, bankers, cashiers, supervisors etc...

coming from my personal point of view as a supervisor (miffle management) I try to do the best by my staff, stuff crops up, family emrgencies etc, I understand that these things are more important than what my company pays them... to be fair my company sucks, doesn't give a damn about the employees, just tokenism by way of reward beyond the monthly pay and to be frank tokenism that's quite insulting - but it's a job.

Unfortunately - I feel - that in the modern world, even with jobs/careers that require a great deal of dedication, compassion etc, that most people are so screwed by them that it's not worthwhile for them to give that dedication or concern... modernity is rapidly turning us into automatons in respect to our work, it doesn't matter if we care, so long as we meet our targets etc - IN MY OPINION...

So when the pandemic comes, when the rapture comes, when the floods, the tidal waves, the nukes come... don't be surprised strangers won't care, we've be programmed not to... all we're wired to do is self preservation - it sucks, unbelievably so and maybe, maybe that's why we're here on this site dicussing these ideas - because we do care.



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 04:53 AM
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reply to post by FredT
 



I know that the NHS is far from perfect however if they are not happy then get other jobs. Look at the likes of the military that lay down their life for the country fighting pointless wars. If these workers where needed to isolate the patients and work in haz mat suits then it is not a death sentence whereas going to the likes of Afghanistan is a 35% chance of serious injusry or death. My point was just I am shocked at the low amount of stafff that would turn up, so much for duty of care.



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 05:20 AM
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This is what happened at the French Hospital in Hanoi, which was the epi-center of the SARS outbreak The staff all left and it was left up to the local French ex-pat community to come in and feed the patients.

Incidentally, the French Doctor whom was the first person to be diagnosed as having SARS, got on a plane and flew to Paris. Why, you ask? He didn't want to be hospitalized and treated in Vietnam.



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 05:56 AM
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I see alot of statements saying that the nurses and doctors can gown-up, get into hazmat suites, isolate patients.

Sorry this isn't realistic. Most hospitals only have a couple isolation rooms.

Here in the U.S., Healthcare is a business. Businesses are there to make money. Why would a hospital want to put one person in a room, when they can point 2 in. If a hospital only had 10 isolation rooms, then what happens to all the other people in an area.

Other considerations are the nurses & the staff. If they have to gown-up to take care of you, it decreases there productivity. Why? Becuase they have to gown-up, then gown-down after each patient in isolation. Where you had a nurse taking care of 8 patients, now there taking care of 3. Meanwhile you have 1000's more patients coming in. There is literally just not enough staff, not enough resources to take care of patients in a pandemic.

The last place you want to be in a hospital. If there is a pandemic, stay home. Drink fluids, and get rest. If your old. Don't take the Damn anti-virals, because you are taking them from the young. If you are going to die, then die.

If I was a hospital administrator in a pandemic, I wouldn't treat anyone over 50. I would reserve the anti-virals for children and young adults, that had healthly lifestyles.

If you smoke, your not getting them, because realistically, even if the flu didn't kill you, the neumonia would.

You have to remember in a pandemic, there will not be enough resources, staff, or facilities. Take a queue from history. Those that isolate themselves miss the flu, or get it after the pandemic is over.

Just my 2 cents, but the hospital is the last place you want to be. Additionally as my wife is an ER nurse, thats the last place I would let her be.

The priority will ALWAYS be the familiy, followed by friends, then community, then strangers.

I can definately see me keeping my wife home.

Cheers,

Camain



posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 08:03 AM
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reply to post by On the level
 


Thing is, this is only a report, it's not an actual case - we won't know the results until something like this happens. There are a number of other factors to take into consideration, such as auxiliary staff, receptionists, porters, cleaners etc - those are also likely to not show up which would further increase the strain on anyone working under these conditions.

From my recent trip to A&E, even with all the Doctors, Nurses and extra staff showing up - no way would they cope, the facilities aren't good enough, there wouldn't be enough space - I'm guessing not enough medicines or equipment too.

I think we also need to take into account the "average" attitude of the public, speaking from recent experience even on a Wednesday afternoon there were drunks and drug addicts roaming around, Emergency is an even worse place to be on a Friday or Saturday night! In the event of a crisis I wouldn't trust the public to behave themselves.

As someone already stated, if this were to happen, hospital would be the last place I would go. I'd lock myself up at home with those I cared for and try to weather the storm. With the best will in the world I don't think our public funded (UK) health care system would work and seriously doubt if a private one would last 5 minutes.




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