Dec 09, 2020
Pushed to the Brink: Campaign Nurse Talks to NPR
NPR’s “All Things Considered” recently featured Danielle Howa Pendergrass, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, in an interview whose title says it all: “Rural Nurses on What It’s Like To Fight Pandemic Within a Smaller Health Care System.”
Pendergrass, who has helped fill the gap in women’s health care in rural Utah and is a Campaign Outreach Advocate for a Culture of Health, or COACH, talked among other things about fatigue, burnout and lack of personal protective equipment:
“Our nurses are pushed to the very brink. We have nurses out that are sick, nurses that are quarantined, nurses that have worked continuously.”
“Our nurses are pushed to the very brink,” she said. “We have nurses out that are sick, nurses that are quarantined, nurses that have worked continuously. I am very concerned. And we are in a nursing shortage. And what message are we sending to nurses or people who want to be nurses when we’re saying, oh, I’m sorry, we don’t have protection for you to protect you against COVID; now go to work?”
Pendergrass is a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner with more than 20 years of nursing experience. She owns and operates Eastern Utah Women’s Health in rural Price, Utah, which sees more than 3,500 patients and offers services to more than 20,000 women in three rural counties. Her clinic partners with federal, state, and local agencies to provide care for both the insured and uninsured, which includes working with the local health department for cancer and health screenings, suicide prevention, opioid addiction, and health-related activities; and with local university to provide health services for campus.