ERIE (Erie News Now) – More than 500 days into a global pandemic. Thousands of healthcare workers have been hard at work for months.
While doctors, nurses, and staff have spent countless hours caring for critical COVID-19 patients. Local hospitals are growing more concerned for their mental health. “We are very concerned and certainly take great efforts to take care of our workforce,” said David Gibbons, RN, MHA, President of UPMC Hamot.
With more than 2,500 positive COVID-19 cases in Erie county just in September, alone. Dozens of people are still in critical care units in our hospitals, putting even more pressure on healthcare workers. “We’re generally just very concerned about the compounding effect this spike has been on our staff,” said Chris Clark, DO, MHA, President & CEO of AHN St. Vincent.
So, UPMC Hamot and AHN St. Vincent are doing what they can to relieve even just a little stress for those who spend their shifts keeping people alive.
“They’ve provided an unwavering level of service, and we work very closely with Safe Harbour to provide onsite counselors that are available for them,” said Gibbons.
“We have what we call Serenity Rooms, which are safe places for staff to go. It’s definitely more stressful now because of the time frame we’ve been dealing with this,” said Clark.
For now, it’s unclear when healthcare workers will catch a break. And our hospitals say whatever they can do for their staff, they know it’s just not enough.
“I feel like we still can’t do enough. And just thank them for their gratitude and the sacrifices they’ve made. It’s something my team and I continue to work on everyday, soliciting their input on what we can do to better support them,” said Gibbons.