North Alabama health care workers frustrated with people not taking coronavirus seriously

Officials said people need to wear masks inside buildings with others, social distance and avoid large crowds.

Posted: Dec 3, 2020 3:59 PM
Updated: Dec 3, 2020 5:21 PM

Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield currently has 29 patients in its coronavirus unit, and health care workers there tell us they are exhausted after months of battling the virus.

Officials said it's been a long 10 months and there are no signs of the coronavirus pandemic slowing down. While they're tired and pushed inside the hospital walls, employees said there are many things citizens can do to help them, like wearing masks.

"Staffing can be critical at times. We have nurses that are getting sick. We have physicians that are getting sick, but we're bringing them back as quick as we can," said Helen Keller's chief nursing officer, Sherry Sands. "We're doing the best that we can to stay strong and stay well through all of this. Morale is a struggle, but we do what we can do to keep the morale up across the hospital."

Sands said a morale booster would be seeing more people wear masks out in the community.

"It is so frustrating to see people out in the community that aren't doing their part to keep this from spreading from other people out in the community," said Sands.

While Sands and her staff are preparing for a Thanksgiving spike in cases, higher ups like hospital president Kyle Buchanan are bracing, too.

"There are several facets to it. One aspect is how would we bring in additional staff if needed? Two, what equipment would we need along the lines of ventilators and other equipment and medications, and lastly, what would we reduce on the other side of the house, so to speak, to preserve resources to bring into our coronavirus unit and ER that have increased pressure," said Sands.

Of those 29 patients in the coronavirus unit at Helen Keller Hospital, five are critical.

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