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Healthcare workers share concerns over burnout as COVID-19 surges again

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Posted at 6:35 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 22:46:51-04

It has been over a year-and-a-half since COVID-19 made its way to the U.S.

Since then, doctors and nurses have been working tirelessly on the front lines.

Hospital workers have been tested physically, emotionally, and that has led to burnout for many.

"It's interesting how much more work is piling on because the world can't keep shutting down," said French Hospital Nurse Tamara Astorga. "We're having to work that much harder to keep that moving amid another very real wave."

"It's really hard," added French Hospital Nurse Marconi Baybayan. "It has impacted you as a nurse, your family, and you're just so stressed you just feel like you don't want to do anything."

The wear and tear of dealing with COVID-19 has significantly affected many healthcare workers, with emergency room nurses at French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo saying it has taken a toll on their mental strength.

"Mentally, if you see a patient that is helpless and you cannot help them, and worst-case scenario they slip away, it's really hard," Baybayan said.

"When I walk out of these doors, I am lucky enough to be healthy and I do my best to stay that way at home," Astorga said.

With the rise in emergency room patients, the demand for immediate health care assistance has led to longer days and hospital crowding.

"It's getting fuller in the hospital, there are just getting to be more patients coming in," Astorga said.

"We are asking our community to be patient, not only here at French Emergency Room, but the entire county. It's not only happening here at French, it's happening everywhere," Baybayan said.

Hospital workers continue to recommend getting the vaccine to prevent further spread of the virus.