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Bay Area EMT’s, paramedics have their hands full with COVID-19 patients

Bay Area

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) – We’re hearing from more frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19.

Bay Area EMT’s and paramedics have had their hands full with coronavirus patients.

KRON4’s Dan Thorn spoke with an EMT who says his job has gotten a little more stressful but much of the response remains the same.

As Bay Area COVID-19 cases continue to grow, the job only intensifies for healthcare workers on the frontlines.

“It’s kinda scary, some people don’t really know 100% what’s going on,” Nick Atkinson said. 

Nick Atkinson is an EMT with Westmed Ambulance in the East Bay.

He says he’s helped treat at least two dozen suspected coronavirus patients, many who have expressed fear or anxiety.

“The fear of the unknown, whether or not they have it or not is a huge kinda stressful for patients experiencing symptoms,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson says when dealing with patients it’s important to keep your cool but EMT’s also worry about taking the virus home and giving it to someone else they care about.

“Everybody knows that this job is a little stressful, everybody knows the sort of hazards that go into this field but it really strikes differently when you see a patient struggling as sorta any call,” Atkinson said.

As for the approach to the job not much has changed in relation to training.

EMT’s often deal with other infectious diseases but now they’re wearing personal protective equipment more frequently, throughout this pandemic it’s crucial for frontline workers to be thorough.

“It is kinda stressful being in a room with a patient who is confirmed COVID but if you take the steps that you need to, I think everything should be okay,” Atkinson said. 

Atkinson says they’re expecting to see more patients in the coming weeks.

Shortages of personal protective equipment have been a struggle for many frontline workers.

Atkinson is hoping at least for the public, people will continue to stay home to reduce spreading the virus.

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