COVID-19 pandemic drives doctors, nurses out of healthcare

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The lingering COVID-19 pandemic has taken a big toll on the healthcare system in the state of Alabama. Some doctors and nurses have been driven out of the profession and others are thinking about doing the same.”It did take a toll on people, especially those that were taking care of very sick patients with COVID-19 as they continued to come in,” Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health says. Emergency rooms have at times been maxed out with sick patients. Not just people with COVID-19, but those with other problems like strokes and car accidents. On top of the large crowds, there’s also the personal protective equipment providers have to suit up in. “You know, Alabama’s healthcare system is strained as it is,” Stubblefield explains. “We’ve seen a lot of rural hospitals close. We barely make it with the beds we have and then you taken into account fluid COVID and it just continues to decrease the number of available beds.”Doctors stress a hospital bed is only usable if there is someone to staff it, which is not always a guarantee like it once was. “I think we’re going to be dealing with COVID for a long time,” Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, says. “I think it’s now just going to become one more pathogen. We need to get our shot every year or however often. Get your influenza shot, get your COVID shot. Get them on the same day and move ahead.”A recent survey from Elsevier Health found 47-percent of healthcare workers nationwide plan to leave their current positions by 2025, unless changes are made. This leaves some uncertainty about the healthcare system as a while.

The lingering COVID-19 pandemic has taken a big toll on the healthcare system in the state of Alabama. Some doctors and nurses have been driven out of the profession and others are thinking about doing the same.

“It did take a toll on people, especially those that were taking care of very sick patients with COVID-19 as they continued to come in,” Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health says.

Emergency rooms have at times been maxed out with sick patients. Not just people with COVID-19, but those with other problems like strokes and car accidents. On top of the large crowds, there’s also the personal protective equipment providers have to suit up in.

“You know, Alabama’s healthcare system is strained as it is,” Stubblefield explains. “We’ve seen a lot of rural hospitals close. We barely make it with the beds we have and then you taken into account fluid COVID and it just continues to decrease the number of available beds.”

Doctors stress a hospital bed is only usable if there is someone to staff it, which is not always a guarantee like it once was.

“I think we’re going to be dealing with COVID for a long time,” Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, says. “I think it’s now just going to become one more pathogen. We need to get our shot every year or however often. Get your influenza shot, get your COVID shot. Get them on the same day and move ahead.”

A recent survey from Elsevier Health found 47-percent of healthcare workers nationwide plan to leave their current positions by 2025, unless changes are made. This leaves some uncertainty about the healthcare system as a while.



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