NYC Emergency Room Doctor On Battling Coronavirus | Katy Tur | MSNBC

joining me now is another doctor New York City emergency room doctor Calvin's son he's a per diem ER doc which means he works at multiple New York City hospitals and picks up shifts as they are available he's worked more than he's worked at more than a dozen emergency rooms in New York City alone dr.

Sun thank you so much for being here can I just ask you what your normal schedule is and what you've been working lately I don't have a normal schedule I never had and being a per diem emergency medicine physician or emergent ologist is picking up shifts literally sometimes 2030 minutes before just this morning I responded to a call to come to the emergency room to work a few hours just to decompress an emergency room 15-20 minutes before the shift started I was in my cab and on my way there I respond to attacks probably after this interview I'm gonna go in for an evening shift and that's been my day-to-day schedule as a per diem doctor I can choose whenever and wherever I want to work but in a wartime scenario such as this all right it's a calling I have to go in tell me what you're seeing I'm seeing EMS stretchers lining up down the block waiting up to five hours just to be triaged so imagine calling 911 expecting to see a doctor immediately when you get to the hospital but then being told that you have to wait in line for you don't know how long it ends up being five hours I'm seeing waiting rooms packed like sardines with 30 to 40 patients inside tiny waiting rooms who cannot maintain the six-foot social distancing world because then waiting rooms too small but they can't go inside because the emergency room is like a game of Tetris where stretchers are lined up in the hallways one to two feet away from us coughing all kovat positive and waiting up to 80 hours for a bed to go upstairs because the hospital is full the ICU rooms have fault and medical floors are full so where do they go we can leave them outside we have to take care of everybody so that's what I'm seeing the first minute of my shift in any emergency room that I'm responding to what about the doctors and nurses who have been exposed we watched in Italy as doctors and nurses became sick and as they put out calls for more doctors they said that they just didn't have enough is that happening here in New York oh my god I have countless exposures and workforce I mean the reason that I've worked 18 shifts in the last 21 days when I normally usually work 10 to 11 per month is because so many openings are made available by doctors who are calling out sick or being exposed or hospitalized or even on life-support I'm filling in for those holes that are popping up everywhere and nurses I treated my own colleagues nursing staff put them on breathing machines intubated them and you know it's very saddening to see that we could have prevented all of this if we had been adequately protected from day one but I've been working in the last three weeks I had to cobble my own PPE just so I don't become the next patient from my colleagues to take him you know and it's just overwhelming a hospital care system when you don't have enough of us to take care of the patients who are coming in droves and then we become patients ourselves what happens when somebody thinks they might be exposed they continue working it is so difficult to even imagine what the decision-making process is because there's a sense of guilt too that a doctor or nurse and PA or NP may feel and they swear an oath to take care of the patients first and to put ourselves in harm's way on a day to day basis even before this pandemic hits but knowing that being exposed and having this illness you may actually risk more harm taking care of your patients by exposing them to your infection so what's the right thing to do do not go into work but then your staff is not supported then we need numbers to take care of other patients but we're running out of those numbers becoming a patient ourselves we have this burden this guilt of you know over stressing and already I'll tell health care system that's bursting at the seams so some people are you know tell the truth and then they're for a load and I'm the one filling in those shifts putting myself at risk of exposure bringing it home with me or some people may feel this pressure to say if it's only mild symptoms to cover it up put on a mask and get back to work that was the notion of what we do were doing when we had two influenza outbreaks and seasonal flu where if you were sick you put on a mask and get back to work I've worked shifts before this pandemic where I hooked myself to an IV and saw patients if I felt I was being ill because I didn't want to call out because that's just the culture of our discipline and what we you know are trained to do but in this scenario I know it's very different being the way this virus is how this virus is so contagious and we don't want to harm our patients it is an ethical dilemma I'm one of many that we face every day it is just scary and and we thank you for for doing what you do and also for coming on and describing it to us we're all stuck at home so we have no idea what it's like out there and we can only tell the story through the ones that are that are seeing it with their own eyes and experiencing it so New York emergency room doctor Calvin son thank you and please stay safe out there we appreciate it hey there I'm Chris Hayes from MSNBC thanks for watching MSNBC on youtube if you want to keep up to date with the videos we're putting out you can click subscribe just below me or click over on this list to see lots of other great videos.

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