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

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT / KSVT) – As the number of positive COVID-19 cases is declining, many healthcare workers are feeling burned out and frustrated. KMVT spoke to two professionals who tell us what it is like to work in a hospital now.

Doctor Nemerson of the St. Alphonsus Health System says some health care workers are afraid to wear their gowns in public.

“They continue to be harassed and face worse other types of threats from patients and their families who do not believe in COVID and, worse still, believe that we are not what we are committed to for their well-being and recovery,” said Dr. Nemerson with the St. Alphonsus Health System.

He says those who go into health care are caring and kind people, but it becomes increasingly difficult for them to be proud of their job when they are outside the walls of the hospital.

“I’ve heard story after story from colleagues who were harassed in the parking lot,” said Dr. Nemerson. “I’ve heard other stories about social events and they are challenged by people who don’t share the same beliefs as they do and they just chose not to talk about what they do for a living,” he continued.

Elizabeth Steger, chief nurse executive for St. Luke’s healthcare system, says she’s working to remind her staff that hospitals are a high-stress environment and that people are sometimes in a rush to react.

“Just with the nature and the apportionment, and on top of the fear that surrounds our teams and families right now, I think it has really gotten to where we need to focus more proactively on just reminding people of the energy they bring with them, ”said Steger.

She says she hopes her staff will remember the reason they got into healthcare in the first place.

“What happens is that they are exhausted,” she said. “The visual acuity of the patients they see is higher, the number of patients they care for is higher, they are tired.”

“What really keeps us going is the encouragement and validation we get from patients and their families. If that isn’t there, it’s really difficult, ”said Steger.

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