‘The rate of which we’ve lost people in our community has been exhausting.’ Nurses burned out after Delta surge hits

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Nurses at Covenant Health said this wave of the COVID has been the hardest since the beginning of the pandemic. This is primarily because the Delta variant has affected more people of a younger demographic. 

Covenant’s Chief Nursing Executive Karen Baggerly said there are patients in their teens now fighting for their lives.   

“It’s tough. I mean right now we have two teenagers in our intensive care unit who are really acutely ill. They’re sick,” Baggerly said. “That’s even harder on our nursing staff to deal with. I mean they certainly can identify that it could be their child in that bed on that ventilator.”  

The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, but especially those on the front lines. Beggerly said people need to understand more of the gravity of the situation nurses are having to face on a daily basis.  

Covenant’s Nursing Manager of Palliative Medicine Susan Harlan said patients are declining faster than what was reported from other waves during the pandemic.   

“The rate at which we’ve lost people in our community has been — it’s been exhausting,” Harlan said. “And it has been very humbling when you’re stepping in to hold the hand of someone who is passing away, because there is no family here. It takes what we do to a whole new level.”   

But there are still many who choose not to believe how bad things are. Covenant’s Director of Nursing Perioperative Services Connie Gonzales said people need to be more concerned and take more precautions. 

“I think the majority of folks have a healthy sense of fear, but there still is a big portion who does not,” Gonzales said. “It’s hard for them to see it if it’s not happening to them.” 

Gonzales said many people may not take the virus seriously until it happens to them or one of their loved ones. 

“They throw out numbers like the one percent, but the one percent is important to the ones who are affected by it,” Gonzales said.

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