health care workers

Florida Doctors Look For Break On State Fees

Aug 7, 2020
Richard Catabay

Saying the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on doctors, leaders of the state’s largest physicians association are asking the Florida Board of Medicine to waive licensing fees for the next two years.

Leaders of the Florida Medical Association sent a letter to Board of Medicine Chairman Zachariah Zachariah, a South Florida physician, asking that the board consider a request to “reduce licensure and renewal fees to 0” for 2021 and 2022, a move that would help about 73,000 in-state and out-of-state doctors with active Florida licenses.

For the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, correctional officer Kareen "Troy" Troitino says things were "pretty relaxed" at FCI Miami. There were no cases of COVID-19 at the low-security federal prison, which currently houses some 1,000 inmates.

That all changed, he says, early last month. "And then on the week of the Fourth of July, we had one case, and then it just spread in one week. I mean, tremendously. It's like wildfire. And you don't even see the fire because you don't know who has it until it's too late."

How Hands-On Nursing Education Went Online During Pandemic

Jul 31, 2020
woman at computer distance learning
Valorie MacKenna

As a nursing PhD student and teaching assistant at the University of Central Florida, Valorie MacKenna solved an important problem when the pandemic hit: how to move hands-on simulation classes online.

WMFE spoke with MacKenna about what that virtual education looked like and whether it’s the future of health care instruction.

When the coronavirus pandemic began, public health experts had high hopes for the United States. After all, the U.S. literally invented the tactics that have been used for decades to quash outbreaks around the world: Quickly identify everyone who gets infected. Track down everyone exposed to the virus. Test everyone. Isolate the sick and quarantine the exposed to stop the virus from spreading.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Friday hosted a virtual roundtable with frontline health care workers to talk about Florida’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fried and the participants discussed what Florida’s leaders must do to properly manage the COVID-19 public health crisis. The state is experiencing an outbreak that is among the worst in the United States.

As Florida’s coronavirus cases break national records, health workers say they’re feeling the strain. While most hospitals still have room to take in more patients, some doctors and nurses say they're being pushed to their limits.


Doctors are warning that Miami is turning into the latest coronavirus epicenter in the country.

New York faced a similar challenge not too long ago. The city went into a lockdown as a surge of patients strained the hospital system.

Florida is now the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States.

The progression of COVID-19 is predictable: Case counts go up, hospital admissions rise, and then ICU admissions increase. And finally, the death toll rises.

The emergency room overflowed with patients. Then, the next wave arrived. This time on stretchers.

"They were lined up along the walls in the ER," a health care worker inside a Navicent Health-owned hospital in middle Georgia told GPB News. "We never have had an influx like that. Since the Fourth of July, it has just exploded."

Gov. Ron DeSantis said it’s not a lack of hospital beds that could pose a problem as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Florida. It’s a shortage of medical personnel.

iStock

The Florida Department of Health announced Thursday that it is sending $138 million in federal pandemic funds to county health departments to hire epidemiologists, nurses and contact tracers.

'Please Tell Me My Life Is Worth A LITTLE Of Your Discomfort,' Nurse Pleads

Jul 7, 2020
Nilu Patel, a certified registered nurse anesthetist
Nilu Patel

When an employee told a group of 20-somethings they needed face masks to enter his fast-food restaurant, one woman fired off a stream of expletives. “Isn’t this Orange County?” snapped a man in the group. “We don’t have to wear masks!”

Among Those Disrupted By COVID-19: The Nation’s Newest Doctors

Jul 2, 2020
doctor
iStock

July 1 is a big day in medical education. It’s traditionally the day newly minted doctors start their first year of residency. But this year is different. Getting from here to there — from medical school to residency training sites — has been complicated by the coronavirus.

Alison Geissler pulled out of the driveway of her suburban home on the outskirts of Tampa, with tears streaming down her eyes. For six years, she drove the 30 miles from her home in the quiet community of Lithia to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Northwest Tampa, where she was a nurse in the cardiac intensive care unit. But this Saturday in late May it would be her final shift at the hospital.

A strange thing happened this spring.

As co-workers began to get sick, essential worker Yudelka LaVigna took an unpaid leave of absence. When she got her unemployment benefits, she realized something unheard of: She was making more money not working.

"That just kind of opens your eyes," says LaVigna, who's now back at her New York call center job for essential services.

On Florida Matters this week, we're taking a look at life behind the front lines - the front lines of the war on the coronavirus.

Many first responders - doctors, nurses and people just willing to lend a hand - have forsaken the relative comfort of their own hometowns and ventured into the epicenter of the virus outbreak.

Some doctors and nurses with the U.S. Air Force Reserves are warning the public not to underestimate the continued threat posed by the coronavirus. They were among thousands of military personnel who deployed to New York City during the height of its COVID-19 pandemic.


It has been five months since the novel coronavirus started infecting Americans. Since then, the U.S. has lost more than 120,000 people to the sickness it causes — COVID-19.

So many have been touched by the deaths of family and friends. Here we remember just a few of those who continued working during the pandemic because their jobs called for it and who, ultimately, lost their lives.

Trump administration officials defended their handling of worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic at a congressional hearing Thursday in Washington, D.C. But they acknowledged a grim new tally of deaths among doctors and nurses is "likely to be an underestimate," according to testimony from Dr. John Howard, head of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The coronavirus continues to batter the U.S. health care workforce.

More than 60,000 health care workers have been infected, and close to 300 have died from COVID-19, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TMH Therapy Dogs Part of Nurses Day Salute

May 8, 2020

Workers heading to and from the evening shift change at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital received a unique honor on Wednesday, May 6. Dozens of the hospital's therapy dogs and their handlers were lined up along Surgeon's Drive in salute.

True Toll Of COVID-19 On U.S. Health Care Workers Unknown

Apr 16, 2020
nurse checking patient's pulse.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The number of health care workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus is likely far higher than the reported tally of 9,200, and U.S. officials say they have no comprehensive way to count those who lose their lives trying to save others.

The federal government's rule designed to support health workers who opt out of providing care that violates their moral or religious beliefs will not go into effect in July as scheduled. The effective date has been delayed by four months, according to court orders.

Doctors in Trouble Keep Practicing

Oct 21, 2013

Medical professionals in Florida hang onto their licenses and continue practicing as the state grapples with a lengthy disciplinary process that can take years, according to an analysis by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

Between 2010 and 2012, it took the Florida Board of Medicine an average 434 days to resolve charges of misconduct against doctors, nurses and other health care workers, according to Florida Department of Health records.

www.orlandohealth.com

Orlando Health workers are upset that their paychecks will soon shrink by as much as 20 percent.  Officials for the eight-hospital system have notified workers that across-the-board pay cuts will take effect Sept. 8, according to the Orlando Sentinel.  Night differential pay would be cut by more than half, 500 positions will be eliminated, and hours will be cut.