Doctors and nurses stress as COVID-19 surge overwhelms hospitals

The Takeaway


As cova cases climb in hospitals around the country filled to capacity nurses doctors and other healthcare professionals were caring for these patients. Say they are burned out. I am elizabeth riley and a registered nurse. Elizabeth works in cumberland wisconsin where corona virus cases have skyrocketed over the past few weeks back in the spring. She volunteered to go to new york. City were infections were surging there and working in intensive care unit but now she seeing troubling echoes of that earlier stage in the pandemic it own hospital when we don't have staff because they're out sick or out quarantine then we've got people who are picking up extra shifts and we have people working long long hours many days in a row and that was something i did when i was in new york and i didn't i didn't make it my full twenty one days just because i was so sick and so tired because i work that many days in a row of twelve hour shifts now. We don't work eighteen days straight of twelve hour shifts but we will work a lot of extra hours a lot of extra days. Everybody has banded together as a team. I think you're going to see that in any organization especially this one where i work within the last probably eight weeks. We have seen a huge spike in cases and it has had a profound effect on what we want to do and what we can do both in that there are high high numbers of infected people in our communities many of whom are winding up coming to our hospital but we also have staff members who get infected with covid and then they can't work but even as elizabeth and her colleagues have banded together. She struggles with the number of people in her community. Who continue choosing not to wear masks. It's i don't wanna say hurtful. Because i think that people who decide not to wear masks are not necessarily trying to be hurtful. I think a lot of those people simply don't understand the truth of the situation or choose not to believe the truth of the situation and when that affects my coworkers in the way it has. I find it quite upsetting because i believe i work with the best healthcare professionals in the country in the world i feel like they're sacrificing themselves to some degree for people who for whatever reason don't want to believe it's as big a problem as it is. It hurts my heart to see such really wonderful professionals. Having to put themselves on the line time just trying to get through in the community without getting

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