Decatur nurses share their COVID-19 experience

“We’re doing everything we can but, that’s still not enough,”
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 7:04 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - With COVID cases surging, hospitals filling up, and no end yet in sight, nurses across the state are tired, drained and overwhelmed. Decatur-Morgan Hospital nurses are no exception.

”We are exhausted. Mentally, emotionally, physically,” said Registered Nurse and Emergency Department Director Jean Suarez.

“We’re just drowning. I mean, we’re trying to stay above water and it’s very hard right now,” said Registered Nurse Alex Pressnell.

“We’re doing everything we can but, that’s still not enough,” said Registered Nurse LaKenya Elliott.

With COVID overwhelming hospitals nationwide and locally in Decatur, Jean Suarez says available beds are few and far between.

“It’s a burden that we’re carrying that is getting too heavy to carry. It’s causing us to leave the profession, it’s causing us to question why we got in the profession,” said Suarez.

Elliott says the staffing shortage makes things even worse.

“It’s been tough. It’s hard on everyone not just physically, but mentally,” said Elliott.

Pressnell says she wants people to realize that this virus is very real, and she sees it firsthand every day.

“On a daily basis, we’re losing multiple patients due to corona. It’s not any other disease, it’s not the flu, it is COVID-19,” said Pressnell.

Pressnell also says this virus is affecting all age groups.

“We’ve got a lot of young people coming in, and they’re not making it out of this hospital,” said Pressnell.

Suarez says the job adds stress to everything they do, and they’re just trying to stay afloat.

“It’s hard seeing really strong nurses, really strong employees struggle. We’re tired,” said Suarez.

“This is serious business and, it’s not a great time to be a nurse,” said Pressnell.

The Decatur-Morgan Hospital nurses ask that you give them patience and grace. They also ask that you use hospital resources appropriately during this trying time.

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