They decided their life’s work was going to be saving other peoples’ lives. But no other group of professionals has had a reckoning during the pandemic as nurses and doctors have. And while they are expected to work long hours in horrendous situations, hospital executives are awarding themselves generous bonuses.

The turnover and resignations of healthcare workers is not entirely due to the pandemic’s crush. But how their employer has treated them during the (seemingly) worst healthcare crisis ever.

“Every hospital system in Ohio is standing on the back of all the staff demanding they work harder,” wrote a nurse.

At the start of the pandemic the Free Press wrote about the mind-boggling situation The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was in when they set up an outdoor donation triage asking the community for extra masks and other PPE.

Coincidentally, the Ohio State University Nurses Organization (OSUNO) back in October purchased billboard space highlighting how CEO Dr. Hal Paz received a $788,000 bonus in 2020.

In fact, eleven Wexner Medical Center executives were awarded bonuses in excess of $100,000 for 2020 and another 22 were given bonus pay of $50,000 or more, according to the university. 

“The hospital administration has gotten bonuses and pay raises because of the hard work they’ve been doing… I’m sure they have worked harder than they have in years past, but from their office. They aren’t the ones dealing with people in semi-permanent hallway beds or having to work mandated overtime because so many people are just (opting) out of nursing.”

Bringing in extra nurses from out-of-state and the National Guard is causing long-time nurses to further question their employers’ loyalty during the plague.

“The main issue is they would rather pay out of state travel nurses to come in at $150 to $200-an-hour than just give the staff a raise. They expect people who have been going since day one to work for the same money when they see how much the hospital is willing to pay out-of-state workers. Loyalty discount is what I believe they call it. If you stay loyal to your hospital, then they know they don’t need to give you a raise because in their fairytale world this is just a temporary problem.”

“I don’t want to do this anymore”…Anonymous nurses and doctors from Ohio speak out

“Was called a Nazi the other day for not prescribing Ivermectin,” wrote a doctor on the Reddit group r/Ohio, the official Reddit thread for all things Ohio.

Last week, someone asked nurses and doctors to speak openly (albeit anonymously) about what they are currently seeing and experiencing.

What followed was an avalanche of sadness and resentment, directed mostly to the unvaccinated and the hospitals they work for, which they say are profiting on the backs of its overworked frontliners. Even so, unflinching is the loyalty these nurses and doctors have towards their patients

“I am a respiratory therapist...let me preface by saying I’ve been doing this for six years and I am damned good at my job,” another medical professional wrote. “I love my job. I love my patients as if they are my own family. I wore bows and pins and other ‘happy’ things and always made patients smile. I was going to do this for the rest of my life. Regardless of pay this was my calling.”

“I don’t want to do this anymore. Every shift we run with half-staff. Our hospital needs 19. We run with 8 or 9. Last shift I had 19 ventilated patients. A ‘safe’ workload is 6. I also had a whole other floor. A patient on that floor ended up in ICU because I had no spare moment to see her. None of my patients have lived without difficulty after having covid. They come back with clotting disorders, pulmonary fibrosis and other issues. We don’t have enough staff. We are drowning. We are tired. We are burnt out...”

“The amount of people walking out is mind boggling,” wrote a nurse. “For Christmas gifts this year the crews got leftover PR gloves and some Skinny Pop popcorn. They’ve been running for two years now with COVID, wearing all the extra gear, then getting swabbed weekly, now the vaccine mandate. Gloves…that’s what they were worth, to a system that is rapidly expanding because of the extra money received from the government.”

Stated another nurse, “All the ‘Hero’s Work Here’ slogans were empty gestures from a system that, if they did care would show them with actual love. Not a ‘Look how we showed we care about you’ sign. Their ‘gifts’ for staff consist of things like lip balm and, I kid you not, Lifesavers candies for being a ‘life saver’. If Groucho Marx were alive today he would have more material than he would know what to do with.

“Every day I work I go from a room of a patients dying of Covid who are begging me to save their life yet who refused the vaccine and currently paying the ultimate price, into a room of a Covid denier who cusses me out because he refuses the vaccine and refuses education on the vaccine because (and tells me) I am a brainwashed fucken idiot. Every. F######. Day. Every day. Every. Day.”

Wrote another nurse, “In short, this is not an environment that makes you feel safe. Patients lie on their symptom screenings. People want to argue about mask policies. People complain if the doctor recommends vaccination. It’s way too political.”

And another wrote, “I can’t explain to you guys how tiring it is to repeatedly ask people if they’re vaccinated and hear ‘No’, then watch their oxygen levels get lower and lower, hold up iPads and have people FaceTime their loved ones to say whatever they need to say before we intubate them [insert a tube into a person or a body part, especially the trachea for ventilation], because if you reach that, it’s far more likely you’ll die than live. We are so, so very tired.”