Northeastern Ohio nurses give first-hand perspective on pandemic outbreak
CLEVELAND – With the increase in COVID-19 cases and the hospitalizations with them, hospitals and healthcare workers in Northeast Ohio are overwhelmed.
“We are doing the best we can. It’s very tiring. It’s very emotionally draining. But day in and day out, with a lot of teamwork, we are doing our best, ”said Tracey Kaser, intensive care nurse at the Cleveland Clinic Akron General.
News 5 spoke with five nurses from the Cleveland Clinic, teaching hospitals and MetroHealth to get their take on working on the front lines during this outbreak of the pandemic.
“Our daily life is under extreme pressure, I mean we have a lot of patients coming to the emergency room with symptoms of COVID,” said Quiana Howard, university hospital emergency nurse.
The Ohio Department of Health reports that 4,784 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. 1,185 of these patients are in intensive care. These are levels Ohio hasn’t seen since this time last year.
“It’s pretty scary to see the number of people coming in. I think one thing we see is the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated. Ninety percent to 95% of the cases we see are unvaccinated people, ”said Anthony Carr, emergency nurse at MetroHealth Medical Center.
Nurses said the increase took a heavy toll on them and their colleagues.
“It’s hard because we have to remember that it started almost two years ago, so now we’re going to have this emotional toll, this physical toll where everyone is tired, everyone is, you know, overloaded. emotionally, ”said Laura Schmidt, an emergency room manager at MetroHealth Medical Center.
So even though they have said that each of their departments is working the best they can, they need help so that they can continue to help others. All of the nurses News 5 spoke to said they would welcome National Guard assistance now that Governor Mike DeWine has mobilized them to help in state hospitals.
RELATED: Governor DeWine orders Ohio National Guard to send understaffed hospitals with increase in COVID cases
“I have to be honest, this will be very helpful not only for the patients, but for the staff. I mean, just to have the support and people out there to share the responsibility and commitment of caring for patients, ”Howard said.
But even beyond the National Guard, they said they also needed the community to do its part.
“I want people to know it’s still very real. It’s still happening. We’re still dealing with it. We’re all doing our best, but it’s not going to go away anytime soon and we really need to take action to make it happen, ”said Bridget Gill, community and employee health manager at MetroHealth Medical Center.
Jade Jarvis is a reporter for News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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