A Nurse Shares Six Reasons for Health Care Decline

4 ¾ min

Sally* has worked as a nurse in an operating room for more than 30 years. She’s seen horrors most of us can only imagine, gunshot victims, patients maimed beyond belief, the dead from failed surgeries carted off to the morgue.           

Right now, she’s witnessing the decline of American health care. That decline is taking place in the hospital where she works and is apparent from the stories she hears from traveling nurses in other hospitals.

I spoke with Sally on the phone the other day and she laid out the following reasons for this decline.           

Lack of Leadership

For several years now, and especially during the Wuhan virus, Sally has noticed the absence of leadership in her hospital. One hospital director spent most of her time Zooming with underlings from across the country. Another director has never bothered to meet his subordinates. A supervisor who has no training in management or people skills was more concerned with start times in the OR than with patient care. “They’re just filling a box,” Sally explained, meaning the organization running the hospital checks off a box as a position filled and moves on.           

Shortage of Supplies

“We’ve always run a little short of supplies,” Sally said, “but the pandemic exacerbated the situation. We’re even low on such items as drapes and gloves for surgery. A lot of these items come from overseas, from places like China or Mexico.”           

Shortage of Medicine

Here Sally cited a specific example: the lack of Marcaine with epinephrine, both particularly vital drugs for surgeries. “No one really explains why we’re having such trouble getting these medicines,” she said, “but the shortage is severe.” Once again, such drugs are mostly manufactured overseas.           

Shortage of Staff

Finding qualified personnel to work in the hospital proved difficult even before the pandemic. With many hospitals now demanding that their employees receive the virus vaccine, they are finding it even more difficult to retain doctors and nurses. “In my unit, we have 12 operating rooms,” Sally said. “Most of the time, we only have the staff to open 10 of these rooms. This means that the treatment of some patients must be delayed.”

Intellectual Takeout recently featured an article on Houston nurses who are leaving in droves rather than receive the required jab, and The Epoch Times has found that the shortage of health care workers across the country is skyrocketing, in large part because employers insist on the vaccine. Sally is among those California doctors and nurses publicly protesting vaccine mandates. To paraphrase a comment she made, the same caregivers who were hailed as heroes in the depths of the pandemic are now being given the boot for refusing the vaccine.                       

Training and Orientation

Sally reported that when she was in training 30 years ago her clinical instructors and mentors offered her solid and sometimes harsh guidance. Offer such critiques today, she said, and young students will complain that you’ve hurt their feelings. Moreover, the exposure of nursing students to units like surgery is much more limited these days. What she describes as her “boot camp” in medical care no longer exists.           


“It’s in the toilet,” Sally said. She stresses that she and her coworkers in the OR, doctors, nurses, and scrub techs, are generally good friends, eating lunches together and sometimes going out after work for a drink. But about a year ago the hospital administration began requiring quarterly meetings in which it divided staff into groups: blacks, whites, and Hispanics, to discuss racial issues.

As Sally pointed out, “Leadership has Balkanized people. We should be people taking care of people. Regarding these race-training sessions, my coworkers think, ‘I’m not here for that.’ We get people who just shot a police officer and we put that aside and save their lives. It doesn’t matter who they are. We don’t care. But leadership is making race an issue. What’s the point?”

Recently, Sally attended a fundraiser for a certain U.S. senator. During the Q&A period, she asked what he planned to do to help health care in America. He gave a formulaic reply about costs and benefits, but he missed her point. She wasn’t referring to finances, but to the actual care of the sick and injured. This nurse is deeply concerned about the care and protection of her patients. “I love what I do,” she told me. “I love taking care of patients.”

For the last 50 years or so, we have made health care an industry. That “industry” no longer regards patients as people in need of help but views them as widgets in a factory. Many nurses, doctors, and other care providers still know they are treating human beings, but the system itself has become impersonal, and far too expensive.

I am grateful for Sally’s willingness to speak to me. And thanks to other dedicated health care workers for what you do for your patients.

*Name has been changed at Sally’s request.


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Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick lives in Front Royal, Virginia, and may be found online at He is the author of two novels, Amanda Bell and Dust on Their Wings, and two works of non-fiction, Learning as I Go and Movies Make the Man.

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My daughter is a new nurse -- only been in the field 4 years and she has been saying the same things this nurse of 30 years is saying. She wants out!


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Thank you for this perspective Jeff. I wish Sally the best in her pursuit of caring for real people. Tell her the is needing help. Poor Sally. Poor US.


Rowana F
I wish I could say that any of this surprises me. Several points in particular: 1) What good does it do to separate employees by race in staff/training meetings????? Do they want to create antagonism and division amongst the staff? Because I cannot envision any other result. 2) The USA is one of the most advanced nations in the world, yet for decades we have not been relying primarily on ourselves to manufacture pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. That's just plain stupid, not to mention depriving our own people of several hundred thousand good jobs. 3) "Training and Orientation" issues are the result of children being raised and educated with pampered, babied feelings, participation trophies and low expectations, who therefore are too emotionally and psychologically fragile to take on a highly responsible and demanding job.


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I am a retired medical professional with over 40 years of cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary work behind me, as both a nurse and a technologist. I've worked in several major teaching hospitals during that time, helping train interns and residents in those specialties, and I've also worked in overseas clinics and medical facilities for more than 15 of those years. Finally, I was an infectious disease and CBRN professional (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) consultant for many of those 15 years. I cite all this background to establish my bona fides in saying that "Sally" speaks the utter truth, here. I have also watched our regional and collective health care system mismanage our pandemic response from day-one and I can further truthfully has been appalling! A regular 'amateur hour' from start to finish! Given this state of disarray, I am oh SO happy to finally be out of the 'game', so to speak, and am content to watch America founder in the quagmire of its own making as the pandemic continues to wreak its worst upon our ignorant and merely uninformed citizenry! It almost seems as if 'Ma Nature' is finally getting back at all the geophysical damage and destruction we human critters have done to her beautiful natural domain over the past 3000 years! Remember...It's NOT nice to fool Mother Nature! God (and I am a non-believer!) help us all ('cause the medical establishment won't)!


For what it is worth I have nearly 50 years experience in health care. Hospitals, private practice and Fortune 100 companies. Things have changed. Duh! Everything has changed in our society. But there are plenty of hospitals that have not had all that I read described here. Nursing care at many is excellent as is the training. There are always shortages of certain medications but especially blood for transfusions. COVID certainly impacted some of this but mostly PPE. Shortages of Marcaine and Epi can be worked around. Though I am retired I still work at a high profile academic hospital. Their "diversity" was well done but also juvenile. They did not force anyone into groups. There were recommended extra explorations that could be done to supplement the live Webinar training. This was not required. Walking the halls of this hospital is a veritable exposure to world religions and ethnicities. These are patients as well as employees. I find it amazing how well it works. Not without some tension at times but then where isn't there some?