Front-Line Stories

#MaskUp, Say Cleveland Clinic Nurses: “It’s Worse Than It’s Ever Been”

#MaskUp, Say Cleveland Clinic Nurses: “It’s Worse Than It’s Ever Been”

As the number of coronavirus cases — and the number of people who need to be hospitalized because of it — rise across the U.S., there’s not only a renewed concern about a lack of beds and staffing, but, for healthcare workers, there’s continued anxiety and a sense of fear for the unknown.

Just ask nurses like Cindy Stives, who says that month after month of dealing with the pandemic, coupled with the most recent surge in cases, is putting healthcare workers on edge. They are beginning to monitor each other’s emotional and mental health to ensure they continue to provide the best, patient-centered care.

“It’s worse than it’s ever been,” says Stives, a nurse practitioner at Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital. “There is currently a surge in Ohio and it’s really starting to put a strain on hospitals as the number of patients with COVID-19 who need hospitalization are rising.” Stives, 50, is poised to graduate with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Chamberlain this month.

The headlines agree with Stives’ assessment – trumpeting that COVID-19 is gripping hundreds of those working inside Cleveland Clinic hospitals. Ranked as the nation’s #2 top hospital by U.S. News & World Report, Cleveland Clinic is “experiencing close to 1,000 of our caregivers who’ve been affected by COVID-19, and unable to come in and care for those patients,” according to Chief Caregiver Officer Kelly Hancock, also a Chamberlain DNP graduate in a recent interview with CNBC. About 800 of those are in the Cleveland area, and others are located at the hospital system’s locations in Florida and Las Vegas.

What Stives and her healthcare colleagues are experiencing is not just a Cleveland issue, but one that has spread across the country. To that end, Cleveland Clinic is at the forefront of a recently launched public service effort, in which the nation’s top healthcare systems, representing thousands of hospitals in communities across the U.S., are uniting with an urgent plea for all Americans to mask up. The Lets #Maskup campaign encourages wearing a face mask as our best chance at slowing the spread of the virus. The campaign’s ask is simple: “Wear. Care. Share with #MaskUp. Together, wearing is caring. And together, we are saving lives.”

In her personal life, Stives incorporates the #Maskup campaign recommendations such as wearing a face mask, washing her hands regularly and practicing physical distancing into her daily life. As a triathlete, Stives, does everything she can to stay healthy, including running and cycling regularly. In addition, the mother of four has pledged to have small family celebrations this holiday. That means cancelling plans with her mother and sisters and innovating on sharing a meal. “For Thanksgiving, I cooked a turkey, carved it with a mask and gloves on and they picked up their share by pulling up in my driveway.”

Appreciative and Thankful

We appreciate your commitment to the continued well-being of our Chamberlain community and support during this unprecedented time. Please visit the Chamberlain University website for the latest updates regarding COVID-19.