At the same time that increases demand for care, hospitals are dealing with the lack of professionals, removed for having contracted Covid.
You don’t even have to go inside to find the ER is full. The increase in demand for care is visible on the doorstep of public hospitals and in the waiting rooms of private hospitals as well.
At one of these private labs, demand for Covid tests increased so much that the line ended up on the sidewalk. Just outside, we counted almost 40 people. And there’s still the line of cars for the drive-thru service, which goes around the corner.
As demand only increases, health units in various parts of the country suffer from a lack of staff. In Maceió, 40 professionals have already been removed, according to the health department.
In Porto Alegre, the number tripled in one week. There are already at least 1,228 workers with confirmed or suspected Covid infection.
The Municipality of Guaxupé, in the south of Minas, sent home 90 employees from health centers and the Santa Casa in the city.
Since December, in Rio, the number of people on leave due to respiratory syndromes has reached 5,500.
In São Paulo, the State Health Department accounts for 1,700 absences in the public network. It seems little in the face of the staff of more than 170 thousand employees, but it worries because it takes tired teams after almost two years of pandemic.
Work overload in nursing — Photo: Jornal Nacional/ Reproduction
“There has been a 30% increase in demand for care for mild and moderate cases in emergency rooms and emergency rooms. At the peak of the second wave, for example, we had to face 30,000 inpatients on the same day. Today, we have 5,550 hospitalized patients, but we already have a very large strain on health workers and it is a challenging time”, says Eduardo Ribeiro, Executive Secretary of Health of São Paulo.
A survey carried out by the São Paulo Regional Nursing Council gives an idea of the work overload. Nearly 82% of respondents say they are seeing more patients; 41% report having suffered verbal abuse; and 33% report that the working day has increased.
A routine well known to Rodrigo, who is a nurse in a public emergency room in São Paulo and feels exhausted.
“Firstly, it is difficult for us to be able to go out on our own schedule. We spent 12 hours on duty, but the reality is to spend a little more, 13 hours on duty to be able to help colleagues. And this with this large number of patients”, says emergency nurse Rodrigo de Sousa Pereira.
The direction of Instituto Emílio Ribas, a reference in infectious diseases, appealed to doctors from all sectors of the hospital to cover the holes in the work schedule: “These are professionals who are there on the front line, in places such as emergency care and intensive care units, and that it is sometimes difficult for us to replace them so quickly”.
Embezzlement in the teams of doctors and nurses happens suddenly and worries those who continue to work.
“You start a shift and suddenly you’re two minus, minus three in a single day at once on shift. It means fear. Unfortunately, it is a heavy word, however, fear and anxiety are words that describe a little of what we are currently experiencing in this new wave”, says Rodrigo de Sousa Pereira.