PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is growing exhaustion and frustration for medical workers facing record numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations and staffing shortages. Nurses are calling for a day’s action on Thursday.
Most hospitals say they have reached a state of crisis.
Read more: Philadelphia area residents face delayed delivery, empty shelves as supply chain issues resurface
The dedication and courage of their staff is what drives them forward, but many hospital workers say they are running empty, though they still hold onto hope.
On the frontlines of fighting COVID-19 in the Jefferson Emergency Department, Dr. Effie Keane spent the last nine months with her daughter, who was born on January 8.
Keane says she feels safe with protective equipment and relieved that there are more treatments,
But it has been gruesome.
“The hardest part is seeing someone we can’t help,” Keane said.
“It’s been really tough. It’s been tough,” said temple ICU nurse Mary Adamson.
At Temple University Hospital, Adamson is exhausted and now, with growing patients and another round of dire staff shortages growing despair.
“People are coding and dying, they’re dying. And all the protocols and systems and everything that we did before, it’s really watered down and it’s not clear and concise. And we struggle We’re struggling,” Adamson said.
Read more: ‘Mare of Easttown’ actor nominated for multiple 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards
Apart from being overwhelmed with patients, she says, staff shortage is also affecting the availability of equipment.
There are concerns that employees infected with COVID-19 are forced to return to work before they are safe.
“Standards of care in hospitals have dropped dramatically,” Adamson said. “I don’t think we’re giving the best quality care that we could.”
On Thursday, National Nurses United will hold a day of action calling for hospitals to do better.
“We want America to understand that we are in a very big trouble now,” Adamson said.
Hospitals say they are doing their best and have taken necessary action to protect staff and patients.
“What keeps me moving is fighting for those who need it,” Adamson said.
more news: Temporary Grant Program Could Help Philadelphians Past Outstanding Water Bills
CBS3 contacted Temple University Hospital for feedback on the nurses, but we did not hear back.