AI-generated portrait of a healthcare provider named Ali

Case study: Ali

Ali, a nurse, had been with his medical unit for a year before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. At first, he and his team were motivated. They believed their training would guide them to provide the best care. But eventually, things started to change.

PPE shortages began trickling down to Ali’s unit. While he had been taught to change PPE after one use, his supervisor now told him not to change his mask while attending to multiple patients. 

Ali also struggled with how others managed risk. One of his patients passed away after contracting COVID-19 from a niece who’d been infected at a big indoor party. Another time, a co-worker came in without disclosing that she had been exposed to COVID-19 and became symptomatic. This resulted in several people on the unit getting ill.

As Ali’s co-workers started to catch COVID, staff shortages led to significant overtime. Leadership asked those who were “not that sick” to return to work. 

During this period, Ali worked as many as 21 days in a row. When he expressed concerns about burnout and depression, his supervisor told him, “We need people, it doesn’t matter if you are fully functioning.” Ali began to lose trust in his supervisor, the hospital, and even humanity.

Image generated by Midjourney.