Kentucky hospital feels strain of staff shortage amid COVID surge: “You can’t ask nurses to take care of any more people”

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For Dr. Brad Baker, the battle towards coronavirus is personal. He was born at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Kentucky, and got here again for his residency. Right now, the virus is ravaging his dwelling.

“The frustration comes from that we’ve been shouting from the rooftops for a long time now how bad this is and what this can do. And to watch it, despite your warnings and your pleadings, to just come through and take life like it does, that’s hard,” Baker instructed CBS News’ Nancy Chen.

St. Claire is the most important rural hospital in northeast Kentucky and it is the one hospital in a county of roughly 24,000 individuals. Baker mentioned he has open beds however not sufficient nurses to staff them.

“You can’t ask nurses to take care of any more people than they’re already taking care of,” mentioned Baker.

Nurses like Chyann Hanson are dedicated to discovering a approach to care for more individuals, regardless of worrying about getting their youngsters sick. 

“[My daughter] wants to run straight to me when I walk through the door, and she can’t,” Hanson mentioned. “Some days it makes me feel like a bad mom because I am supposed to be there for my daughter but I am a nurse and my patients need me.”

That conviction doesn’t finish with St. Claire’s staff—roughly a dozen nationwide guard troops are helping the hospital.

“I personally know at least five people with COVID that’s in this hospital right now. And three of them are on ventilators and its, just hard to swallow. So anything I can do,I’m going to do,” Sgt. Darrin Cushard of the Kentucky National Guard mentioned. 

Across Kentucky, hospitals refill with unvaccinated sufferers and a few, like 29-year-old Samantha Wendell, by no means make it dwelling.

Her cousin, Maria Hayes, mentioned Wendell thought getting vaccinated would possibly influence her fertility, though there isn’t any scientific proof that it does.

“Misinformation killed my cousin,” Hayes mentioned. 

Wendell was supposed to get married on August 21 — as a substitute, she died on September 10 after weeks within the hospital.

“It was absolutely traumatizing to have to say goodbye to someone you love via the phone. Samantha was a person, we loved her. She isn’t just another number. She was a person that was well-loved,” Hayes mentioned.