‘No bed means no beds’: Nurse’s Covid rant goes viral

‘No beds for your stroke, no beds for your heart attack, no beds for your car crash, no beds for your sick child’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Monday 24 January 2022 21:24
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Related video: Rising job vacancies, poor working conditions among nurses’ pandemic concerns

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The rant of a travel nurse has gone viral after she spoke about her experience working in hospitals around the country during the pandemic.

Alexis Hinkley posted the video on TikTok on 22 December, but the post is still garnering attention. As of 24 January, the video had been viewed 10.7 million times.

“One thing that I wish more non-medical people understood when they bring up the survival rate of Covid is that no beds in the hospital means no beds,” Ms Hinkley said in the video. “No beds for your stroke, no beds for your heart attack, no beds for your car crash, no beds for your sick child.”

She explained that treatments for other emergencies get pushed to the side as Covid take over hospitals.

“You might be very comfortable with the survival rate of Covid, but how comfortable are you with the survival rate of a massive stroke with no TPA (clot-dissolving medicine), because we can’t accept you at any of your local hospitals, because our [emergency department] is overflowing with patients already? Are you comfortable with those odds? I bet the f**k not,” she added.

“Last January was some of the darkest s**t I’ve ever seen in my life,” Ms Hinkley said. “Shoveling dead bodies out to refrigerated trucks in parking lots. And on the worst days that we had, we were still only averaging 3,000 deaths a day from Covid. We are looking at 10,000 deaths a day in early February.”

“No beds means no f**king beds,” she added. “You die alone, at home. Your parents die alone, at home. Please, please start listening to the healthcare workers when they scream for you to help us.”

“I had just finished 13 hours in our emergency department, and I’d personally had a really bad shift,” Ms Hinkley told BuzzFeed. “I’d had multiple patients code, I’d been working a crisis assignment, and I’d been in the emergency department for the past month.”

“We had over 30 people on gurneys in the hallway,” she said.

“We’re short on beds, we’re short on staff, we’re short on everything,” she added. “We were trying to run the hallway of an emergency department to get to a patient who’s crashing, and we were bumping into gurneys with patients and family members sitting on them! There shouldn’t be people in the hallway of a hospital, ever. Not in the ‘richest country in the world.’ It feels so pointless to even say that, but it needs to be said.”

“We were having like 16 hour wait times and people were waiting days for beds,” Ms Hinkley told 11alive. “We had like 40 patients in the hallways. That video for me, it was kind of a cry for help.”

“I know that a lot of us [nurses] wish we could just strap a GoPro to our heads to show people what’s going on, but we can’t do that,” she told the outlet. “I was hoping to just kind of give a little bit of a glimpse into what’s going on for the people that might not have the slightest idea.”

“You don’t want to be sitting there with a broken arm or, god forbid, a stroke, a heart attack, something completely unpreventable and either be looking at a six-hour medical flight to another hospital across the country or nothing,” she added. “And that’s what a lot of people are looking at right now.”

More than 866,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US to date.

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