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Local nurses continue to experience burnout as COVID surge continues

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Throughout the pandemic, nurses at Yakima Valley Memorial hospital haven’t been able to catch a break, with many of them experiencing burnout.

We spoke to Bret Desgrosellier, a RN on Memorial’s COVID unit, to find out what it’s been like for the them.

Desgrosellier says he’s seen the flow of patients go from waves at a time to now groups of people at a time.

The dramatic shift in incoming COVID patients has taken a toll on the staff, and it shows, as one COVID patient tells us.

Nathan Wingerter says, “they just need so much help, there's just not enough of them to go around for all the patients with COVID and stuff."

Desgrosellier also says they often don’t know what a day’s going to bring, as there might be staff available one day or no staff to run the unit on another.

On top of that, they are seeing patients come in constantly.

Desgrosellier says, "It's hard to come back everyday and when there's no staff already and you're running your tail off. You're not sitting down. And then you see all this tragedy left and right and people are mad at you for trying to help them because they don't wanna be here. I mean, how can that not devastate you everyday?"

He added that this has caused the staff a lot of burnout both mentally, physically and emotionally.

But when a COVID patient survives and gets to go home, Degrosellier says it is a great feeling and one of the things that keeps them coming back.

Desgrosellier says, "So when a patient gets to go home, that's pretty cool and we do little applauses and things, just little tokens of kind of our gratitude of just their body’s recovering."

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He added that the staff is waiting to see what happens everyday, as this surge we're seeing keeps growing, until then, they are doing the best they can with the few resources they still have left.

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