Huron County is seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases. Individually, our caregivers chose a career in healthcare due to a desire to provide care to people in need. Throughout this pandemic, we have prepared to be here for you when you need us. As our intensive care unit and hospital rooms fill with cases of COVID-19—many of which are a result of preventable community spread—we are at risk of not being able to provide the care you expect from us.
Right now at Fisher-Titus, our employees continue to come in every day and give their all to fight COVID-19 in our community. We have expanded our bed availability, including doubling our intensive care unit beds, and identifying overflow areas into other areas of the hospital so we can continue providing exceptional care for our patients. Our staff garb up with N95s, masks, shields, gowns, gloves, and sometimes more for 12 hour shifts in order to protect themselves and care for their patients.
While these caregivers are ready to care for the community and are dedicated to fighting COVID-19, the state of the pandemic right now is taking a toll on them. Hear from them what they are seeing and feeling right now at Fisher-Titus:
Mackenzie, Critical Care Nurse Manager
Right now I’m feeling tired. I’m exhausted. We put in lots of hours and time and support not only for our patients but for our employees. It’s exhausting. It’s been really rough.
In my staff I’m seeing a lot of burnout. I see a lot of frustration. I see that they’re tired, they’re exhausted. Garbing up and down for every patient all the time for 12-hour shifts, they leave with marks on their face, skin irritation, hand irritation…you can tell they’re getting tired.
Back in March and April we anticipated the worst, but we didn’t really see the volumes back then that we’re seeing now. Fast forward a couple months, now we have full units, full ICU, overflow onto med-surg, nurses taking more patients to accommodate caring for the volume of patients. And they’re more critical. We’re seeing more critical patients.
It’s a lot different. It’s now what we prepared for in March when we were ready with the community closed and now everything’s still open so it’s just harder to manage.
Me personally, I would say trying to leave it behind, trying to go home and live a normal life, that’s probably the hardest. Seeing patients that die alone or lonely, that’s difficult.
To the community I would say, think of the people here—employees and patients. Stay home as much as you can. Be mindful about how you felt when this all started. It’s real. It’s not going anywhere. It’s worse now than it was then.
Follow the guidelines that the CDC gives, that the governor gives, that you hear from your community health care providers. Just isolate and protect each other.
Nichole, Respiratory Services Manager
At this point in the pandemic, I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed and stressed. I feel right now that my staff is feeling the pressure from the increase and volume and how sick our patients are. They’re pulling together as a team, they’re working very hard; however, I also do see the fear they have. Everyone is a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, you know we all have family and they’re starting to feel that fear.
I know it’s hard with the holiday season approaching, everyone wants to get together with their friends and their family, but I feel that we’ve all put our guard down and it’s time to put that guard back up.
Right now, here at Fisher-Titus, we are seeing an increase in numbers. Therefore, we need to pull together as a community and really slow the spread to protect ourselves and our community and then to hopefully have a light at the end of the tunnel once this is all passed.
Brandi, Charge Nurse, Emergency Department
I feel a little bit more worried every day I come to work. A lot of the patients we’ve been seeing lately have been positive.
It’s hard to care for these patients and then go home to your kids and hope that you’re not taking anything home to them. It is a scary time.
This is getting bad again and you need to take this seriously. It’s your grandparents it’s your parents, it’s your aunts and uncles and you don’t want to put them at risk. A lot of people don’t take that seriously and I think it’s because they don’t see it on a firsthand basis like we do.
Wear your mask, wash your hands, limit your outings. Don’t get together for Thanksgiving. We have all these holidays coming up and we want to spend it with our families but if we spend this one with them, it may be that we don’t get to spend the next one with them.
Liana, Med-Surg Nurse, COVID Unit
I’m feeling nervous for what’s to come and exhausted from what has come.
There’s extreme burnout among the nurses taking care of the COVID patients. You’re talking about gowning up when you go in, gowning up when you come out. You’re talking about family members calling all day long for updates and we don’t blame them. There’s just an increase in burnout.
We know we didn’t sign up for this, but we would literally pour our heart and soul into our jobs to help people. That’s what drives us. That’s what makes our hearts beat is helping other people that’s who we are.
This is serious. Don’t think that you can’t get it. Don’t think that your family can’t get it. Don’t think that you can’t pick it up the places that you’re going because you can. This is real and it is going on.
Wear your mask. It’s respectful of you as a person to wear a mask in the community. I have had several patients who have had it who have not had symptoms that end up having COVID. If they don’t wear a mask, look at all the people that they’ve given it to. No, they didn’t know they had it, but they gave it to people that do know they have it now.
If the patient’s not critical then fine, and there’s a lot that aren’t critical. But, you’re talking about a very fine line that you ride with a COVID patient. They can go past that line at any point. And that’s always in your mind. Can we handle it? Yeah. But does it get to you after three weeks of on-edge taking care of patients that ride that thin line? Yes. You just want a break. You want to get out of that twilight zone for a little bit.
Wear your mask or, better yet, stay home.”
Help us fight COVID-19 right here in our own community.
We are asking you all to join our employees in the fight against COVID-19. We need your help.
- Wear your mask
- Distance yourself from those outside your household
- Practice proper hand hygiene
We need everyone to work together to slow the spread right her in our own community.
For more information, visit fishertitus.org/coronavirus.