Nurse Fatigue


Kassem Ossman

Through the pandemic nurses work long hours to help others through this time.

As the COVID-19 numbers surge day after day, it continues to take a toll on the essential workers working for hospitals and urgent care. During the worst times of this pandemic, nurses have had to work day in and day out, shining a light on the troubles that nurses go through.

Nurse fatigue is “A subjective feeling of tiredness that is physically and mentally penetrative. It ranges from tiredness to exhaustion, creating an unrelenting overall condition that interferes with individuals’ physical and cognitive ability to function to their normal capacity.” (Canadian Nurses Association [CNA] & Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario [RNAO], 2010, p.12).

With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing the hours of these nurses, these issues rise and make working as an essential worker harder than ever.

Children’s Nurse Barb Schmidt talks about her experience working at a hospital during the pandemic.

“Hours at first were being cut due to elective procedures being done. This was to reduce the use of masks and gloves so that main hospitals could use them for those with COVID patients,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt explains how the pandemic has negatively impacted her job

“I require more masks, gloves, extra questioning for symptoms, arguments with families due to them wanting to bring more people in which could expose the patient to COVID-19or other viruses,” Schmidt says.

Registered Nurse Rhonda Macoy describes her perspective of being a healthcare worker.

“I am a prior authorization nurse [for Molina], I review prior authorizations for the Molina patients who need services not directly from hospitals. We have had an increase in members because a lot of people who have lost their jobs have got on to Medicaid. With more members there are more requests,” Macoy said.

Macoy continued, talking about when her job becomes too much to handle.

“My stress is not the same as nurses who work at hospitals and doctor offices, ours is from the cases that we are getting or the demands that management is giving us so currently they have moved a ton of workers for the patents in the hospitals and not the patents out of the hospitals,” Macoy said.

Schmidt also talks about the struggles that she has working at a hospital.

“It depends on the day, there can be many challenges with those who are mentally disabled, easily irritable [and] excessive, but some kids can be easy going, nice and make my day. Throughout the day there can be such a variety that comes with the job, which can make or break your day. But all in all, I love my job,” Schmidt said.