DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As the pandemic continues to drag on and the new omicron variant cases surge, many front-line workers are burning energy at both ends, taking a toll on their mental health.
At Miami Valley Hospital, Registered Nurse Amie Ballachino has been working the COVID unit since March of 2020, and says many days on the job aren’t easy.”A lot of days are struggles here. Especially when you see a lot of deaths that you are dealing with. We’re doing our best here. The only thing that we can’t do is go back in time and change things,” said Ballachino.
Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association Vice President of Health Initiatives Lisa Henderson said that as hospitalizations climb, the front line workers across The Miami Valley are suffering. “Our front-line workers are putting in long hours, long days, giving it their all, but it’s exhausting.”
Ballachino said she often likes to pick up extra shifts to help with the workload and staffing shortages being experienced across the US and locally, and said the majority of patients seen are unvaccinated. “The patients that I take care of are ICU intensive care patients. So, they require a lot of attention. Causing a high demand on the health care workers.”
The comedown after shifts is also not always easy, with Ballachino saying there are many days she gets emotional on her drive home.”On my way home I have my moments. I do break down sometimes. But you know I have a family so you just kinda have to keep it together.”
Henderson said that area hospital leaders are doing everything they can to ease the pandemic impact that’s being felt by front-line workers.”From all levels of leadership have been doing everything they can to provide support wherever they can to provide an opportunity or outlet for those folks doing the work.”
Ballachino also pleaded with people to help front-line workers by doing their part and getting vaccinated against COVID-19. “It doesn’t have to be it like this. That’s the biggest toll it takes on us. It’s just like oh my gosh…it doesn’t have to be like that.”