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‘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.

Article Topic Follows: Health

Shelby Montgomery

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


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