Skip to Content

‘We’re at war, we’re by ourselves’: El Paso healthcare workers fatigued, feel lack of community support

CNN file photo
Inside an El Paso hospital during a prior surge in those needing coronavirus care.

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso has seen record-breaking Covid-19 hospitalizations for months causing a strain on local hospitals and healthcare workers.

"I dread sometimes going in to work because I just know it might not be a good day," said a local intensive care unit nurse who did not want to be identified. "It's even more frustrating when the community doesn't seem to support you, it feels like we're at battle, we're at war and we're by ourselves."

The nurse told ABC-7 there are so many patients to care for and most of them are very sick.

"Depending on the day, one person might code, 10 people might code and its a very stressful situation," she said.

What gets to her the most, according to the nurse, is the final FaceTime calls with families as their loved ones are losing the battle with Covid.

"It's just really heart breaking to have to watch that because you feel completely helpless, there is nothing you can offer, nothing you can say that is going to make it better," the nurse said.

A therapist with Emergence Health Network told ABC-7, healthcare workers experience "compassion fatigue" which can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, commonly known as PTSD.

"It's so difficult to, day in and day out, give and give and give without replenishing," said Gomecindo Lopez, a therapist with Emergence. "We are going to start losing those health care workers, they are going to be tired, they're going to be sick or hospitalized themselves."

Lopez said healthcare workers are human and first need to take care of themselves before they can take care of other people.

Coronavirus / El Paso / News / Top Stories / Video

Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.



  1. I’m feel sorry for the healthcare workers right now. They are like the military on the front lines. If they are feeling abandoned, I suspect that comes from City leaders and politicians. You don’t hear of them contracting this virus. I for one, and I’m willing to bet the vast majority of El Pasoans also are behind you 110%. Trust me, if I were younger I would try to help, but at my age, if I did that, I’d end up in a bed with you caring for me too. Hang tough, we love you, and don’t give up the ship.

    1. Ditto. Its sad that these brave El Pasoans feel we don’t support them. We do though and very much so. They are literally our front line against death.

  2. I’ve had times over the years where I worked 70-80 hours a week. If I didn’t like it I would of quit, which I did 3 times but for other reasons, not because I working a lot but for other reasons.
    Healthcare workers are paid hourly, which means 1.5X overtime and 2X holidays pay.

    1. As a healthcare provider you must know we do this to help people not for the monetary compensation.
      Wearing a respirator mask, gown, gloves, shield is so uncomfortable specially doing it for hours at a time, you have no ideas what we go thru.
      We will continue to try and save lives by risking our own.
      We would still save you even if we didn’t get paid it’s a duty bro.

      1. Everyone works for the money and benefits. Not a personal attack on you or anyone else, just the way it is. I have no doubt you would save someone using your knowledge at anytime paid or not. I have 2 Ex-girlfriends that are/were RN’s. Their job was a job. A fireman’s job is a job, The job is to save lives and destruction and get pay and benefits. No doubt at times it’s dangerous job. Construction on a high-rise is dangerous. Digging a trench is dangerous. Working in a mine is dangerous.
        Most people who work a lot of hours bitch about it. I’ve done it. But there is a reality to why we do it and compensation is the biggest factor.

        1. DanLanders again admitting he is human scum. Of course we have to remember he was an orange buffoon supporter which is indicative of the level of his character.

  3. While I understand why a Nurse may feel they are alone in this Covid Fight, THEY ARE NOT! The problem is the “no maskers” otherwise known as republicans, are always louder than the majority of Americans that wear their mask, and try to follow the suggestions of the Medical field. I myself see NO PROBLEM with wearing a mask for a few minutes here and there while in public, after all when I was in the service we wore full body Chem gear for days on end, while training, this little mask is EASY! Stay strong medical field, you are much appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Skip to content