A San Diego nurse who is being tested for the coronavirus, says the healthcare system isn't doing enough to protect workers and patients, and she worries she may have unknowingly exposed others to the virus while at work.
She spoke exclusively with NBC 7 over Facetime on Wednesday.
“Hi so I just got tested for coronavirus,” nurse Megan Ucich explained in a home-recorded cell phone video earlier this week.
Ucich treats patients at three separate health centers.
“So last Tuesday,” continues Ucich, “I started to have this really odd chest tightness, almost like an ache across my chest.”
She thought it was just muscle soreness, so she kept working.
Then this past Monday, she started vomiting, had diarrhea, and a high fever.
“This sucks,” described Ucich. “For people who think this is just like the flu – no.”
Now she is self-quarantined in her bedroom - away from her husband - while she waits for test results.
“I think this is revealing cracks in our healthcare system that have been going on for a really long time,” said Ucich in the Facetime interview Wednesday.
The cracks she is referring to are a lack of protective gear and lack of testing for healthcare workers.
In fact, her primary care doctor sent her home, telling her she probably just had the common flu.
“Not the response we should be giving our healthcare workers,” said Ucich.
She went to another hospital where she was screened and tested immediately.
“If we don’t have the resources to keep ourselves safe, then we can’t keep you safe either. And that’s what’s scary. That’s what needs to change," she said.
Ucich hopes officials will soon mandate routine testing for healthcare workers.
“We are probably adding gasoline to the same fire that we’re trying to put out on a daily basis,” Ucich said in one of her home videos.
We want to be clear: Ucich’s test results are still pending. However, she has already tested negative for Flu A, Flu B and RSV – the most prevalent strains of the common flu and respiratory infection.