A COVID-19 Nurse's Warning Ahead of New Year's Eve

Southern California's 's intensive-care unit capacity at hospitals is still listed at 0%, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly

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Ahead of New Year's Eve, a San Diego nurse is reminding the community to avoid large gatherings as hospitals are dealing with a surge of patients. Hospitals like Sharp Healthcare are adding more nurses to work their ICU's as more patients continue coming in trying to fight off the coronavirus.

"There have been times when I want to just crawl under my pillow until the vaccine and the whole world is vaccinated, you wake up with that feeling," said registered nurse, Jay O'Brien. "But then, you know you think about it and what we're doing, it's amazing, really, it's amazing what we're doing when we go to work."

O'Brien is a registered nurse for Sharp Healthcare and is the Sharp Nurses Union president, he's now added a new role working as an extender, meaning he's helping out in the ICU.

"I'm hearing from a lot of nurses that they're very scared about making mistakes because they're stretched so thin and they're worried about their license," he said.

While frontline healthcare workers are doing their best, the situation is not expected to suddenly get better with the new year. During these last nine months, O'Brien says he's noticed patients are appearing sicker, and some are ending up on ventilators for extended periods of time.

"It feels like this is getting beaten into the ground: Wear a mask and keep some physical distance," O'Brien said. "To me, it's not that hard to do and it doesn't need to be a political thing. It's that this virus is attacking anyone."

Sharp has already begun administering COVID-19 vaccines to its employees. O'Brien said he will be getting vaccinated on Sunday. 


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