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Kern County faces shortage in nurses due to COVID fatigue

Kern County faces shortage in nurses
ICU nurses
Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 21:33:58-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Across the country, the healthcare system is tired, feeling burned out and short staffed due to the pandemic. That’s how local hospitals are saying it is here in Kern County too.

Hospital staff are struggling to keep up with work while being short staffed and burnt out, they believe that the burnout they’re feeling is COVID fatigue. With them being constantly exhausted it’s in turn affecting their patients.

Registered nurse, Lynn Briggs commented, “We're tired, we are just tired, and we're fatigued. We have seen and done way too much.”

At a roundtable discussion with leaders from Mercy and Memorial Hospitals, President and CEO of mercy hospital, Bruce Peters, said finding ER, ICU and specialty nurses has been a problem for them.

“What we’ve learned through hospital council – been told by the state – there will be no help for staffing.”

Peters stressed that they are not able to make any requests for staffing through the state or the county because they believe that Kern County should be able to find staff if they were able to.

He says the whole country is limited on available travel nurses which is something Naomi Ruiz, an Assistant Administrator with Kaiser Permanente, has seen herself: “Everybody is competing for the same resources at the same time, and which is something I’ve never seen in my career.”

Even though she says it’s exhausting, and Briggs feels like it’s difficult to watch, she doesn’t want to leave because of the increase in COVID cases.

If you’re interested in a job with Dignity Health, contact them here.