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‘It knows no boundaries:’ UK Healthcare launches video series showing struggles of hospital workers

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 9:30 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For more than 18 months now, the men and women at UK Chandler Hospital have faced COVID-19 head on.

“COVID is something entirely different. We throw everything we have at it, and we still lose patients anyway,” said Meg Pyper, a charge nurse.

Day in and day out, these frontline workers are treating patient after patient, watching as many suffer.

“In the emergency department we’re used to dealing with large numbers of people. We’re used to dealing with a lot of patients coming in. What we’re not used to, is as sick as so many of them are,” Rev. Jay Fulton said.

At the onset of the pandemic, the emergency department was seeing as low as 120 patients a day. Now it averages 270.

As of Wednesday, the COVID unit has 136 patients. Only 30 are vaccinated and six are unvaccinated children. There are 49 in the ICU, with 34 on a ventilator.

“I think people think, ‘it’s not going to affect me, it’s going to affect somebody else who’s older or sicker.’ But it knows no boundaries,” Pyper said.

In a series of videos UK Healthcare will be premiering, they are following frontline workers and highlighting their perspectives, even the traumas of seeing patients on a ventilator and the weight of some of the circumstances.

“I struggled and my husband was like ‘why are we so fixated on this?’ and I was like, ‘because it’s going to happen again. this is not going to be the last person who comes in very sick,’” staff nurse Sam Poston said.

They hope these videos can open some eyes, roll up sleeves, and ultimately save lives.

“The best thing that anybody can do is help us save you by taking a step to help save yourself. These deaths are preventable,” Pyper said.

There are services available for staff feeling overwhelmed by the pandemic and the work. On is the Soar Program, which is a team of trained peers who provide supportive care for those involved in a traumatic event.

UK Psychiatry launched the “Rest Program” during the pandemic, which provides staff with stress reduction and coping skills.

You can watch UK’s full video below:

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