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As COVID-19 continues, healthcare workers continue to feel the stress

KMVT spoke with two professionals who tell us what it is like to be working in a hospital right now
Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 8:58 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — While the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases are trending downward, many healthcare workers are feeling burnt out and frustrated. KMVT spoke with two professionals who tell us what it is like to be working in a hospital right now.

Doctor Nemerson with St. Alphonsus Health System says some health care workers are afraid to wear their scrubs out in public.

“They continue to be harassed and even worse experience other kinds of threats from patients and their families who fail to believe in COVID, and worse believe that we are not committed to their well being and their recovery, which we are,” said Dr. Nemerson with St. Alphonsus Health System.

He says those who go into healthcare are caring and kind people, but it is becoming more difficult for them to be prideful of their job when outside of the hospital’s walls.

“I’ve heard story after story of colleagues being harassed in the parking lot,” said Dr. Nemerson. “I’ve heard other stories of going to social events and they are challenged by people who don’t share the same set of beliefs that they do and they have simply chosen to not talk about what they do for a living,” he continued.

Elizabeth Steger, who is the Chief Nurse Executive for St. Luke’s Health System, says she works to remind her employees that hospitals are high stress environments and that sometimes people react in haste.

“Just with the nature and the division, and that piled on top of the anxiety that accompanies our teams and our families right now, I think it has really made it to where we have to have more of a proactive focus on just reminding people of the energy that they are bringing,” said Steger.

She says she hopes her employees remember the reason they went into healthcare in the first place.

“What is occurring is they are exhausted,” she said. “The level of acuity of the patients they are seeing is higher, the number of patients they are caring for is higher, they are tired.”

“What really keeps us going a lot of times is that encouragements and affirmation we get from patients and their families, so when that is not there, it’s really difficult,” said Steger.

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