COVID-19’s toll on healthcare workers

Dr. Taylor Nichols, a physician at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in California, discusses treating a patient with swastika tattoos and the pandemic’s toll on medical professionals.
5:30 | 12/02/20

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Transcript for COVID-19’s toll on healthcare workers
We've certainly been sheering about the severe shortage of medical staff throughout this crisis many doctors and nurses are describing pushed to their limits and what doctor. Taylor Nichols and ER physician which by security working at mercy San Juan medical's an arched its forward with an admission sharing a series and Twitter posts at his compassion was. Called into question when a particular patient fell under his care doctor Nichols treated. He was solidly built older his amphetamine use over the years had taken its usual hole in his teeth were all gone. The swastika stood out boldly on his chest SS tax years and other insignia energy previously been covered by ensure. We're now obvious to the room. Doctor Nichols is kind enough to join us now thanks so much for joining us doctor take us back to that moment if you would you've been working. How many hours that we can hears this apparent neo Nazi giants symbol of hate on his Chester needs your help your Jewish. Tell us what happened next. Yeah I think so much after interviewing and then thanks so much for asking. So there's obviously a little bit of a difficult situation and you know. Significantly ill and we had to and into the end which is to go to breathing tube down the road. And in that moment I question. How it helped about it because being Jewish. Seeing that symbol of hate. Knowing that. You know that scene. Compassion may not otherwise have been extended toward the two roles were little burst. We really need. Double down in and look into myself and extend that compassion toward and do everything I could lead to date and light. And knew we you know we did. Reform those lifesaving measures and and an end debated and I'm but that moment out of me that question I never dealt quite so challenged. And now weigh in my compassion for. And you say that we carried out this the nurse with unit was black to respiratory therapist was Asian. What was their reaction. Yet you know unfortunately it very busy made in the emergency department and we NM time to debrief. About it but certainly everybody note it. Commented. Outside the room as we prepared. But none of that. Question what we were doing we are signed up there that we are you know. Deeply compassionate and deeply passionate about what we do. And so we're going to go go ahead and and do. You know what what we signed up for and work that they've lied. But certainly it weighed on and wait on. You've been on the front lines of this crisis for months now you've seen many Americans refuse to Wear masks out questioning of the virus is real how does this pandemic really weighed on U and a senior colleagues. That's bad the biggest question and and that's the Unionist. Challenge to is that. You know we see the numbers right and we seeing more and more cases coming into the emergency department he more or more patient. Getting sick and severely ill. What we really wish is that. Just as weird digging deep and doubling down on our compassion. To expand that compassion toward others who may not even believe in this. Byron and may not be taking precautions. I really wish ma'am my biggest app would be the people dig down deep into their compassion. And take. They. And make sure that we do what we can start to flatten occur again. We see now with the vaccine seeking emergency use authorization. That we know the ended and site. And we know that we can save lives if we just. Follow that CDC guidelines we take precautions. And and we can get through this but we have to do it together. You just mention your biggest ask what's your biggest need in this moment some doctors and nurses have been going on strike are threatening to do so over a number of concerns calling attention to lacquer. Lack of proper equipment and staffing shortages. What would you say that you need most right now. I'm if we had data may biggest need it would be that same it's the same as the act it. Guy I need people to listen I need people to believe. I need people to really. Do everything they can now and if it means. Not seeing. Your friends. Not going out and just wearing mass staying outside. Following again. The CDC guidelines to take precautions. That's all we need we need. See that the numbers of cases go down we need. The lack and lack of this severely ill patients who are coming in. Because of that spire. Doctor Taylor Nichols a heartfelt thank you to you and your colleagues for all of your tireless work and for sharing your story with us tonight we're really appreciate it. So much I appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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