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Nurses set up fundraiser to raffle off items for healthcare workers to help with burnout

A couple of Valley nurses know firsthand what it’s like to be burnt out as intensive care units continue to fill up in Arizona while COVID-19 cases surge, that's why they've decided to hold a fundraiser in hopes to help out overwhelmed ICU staff.

"Our nurses are really burnt out right now with all the COVID stuff. ICUs are seeing stuff that we haven’t seen before and our nurses are really tired from all the stuff going on," said nurse, Miranda Dunkelbarger.

For the past eight months, Dunkelbarger and Lauren Heinzmann have been overwhelmed working long hours at Banner Ironwood’s ICU.

"You just walk into the unit and there is just this heaviness because you know everyone is doing their best and patient ratios are higher than normal. We have rooms doubled up. We never had that before and these patients are sicker than we’re used to," Dunkelbarger said.

Their colleagues are also dealing with burn out, so Dunkelbarger and Heinzmann came up with an idea to do some good for healthcare workers across the state.

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"Our hope is to be able to offer these ICU units things like board games or foosball tables, something basically to get their minds off of work while they’re there. When they need to, they can step out and step away from the craziness that is happening on our units and take a break or breather and do something fun and not have to worry or stress about everything that’s going on," Heinzmann said.

To bring this vision to life, they’re looking for some help.

Send a message to covidnursefund@gmail.com to donate to the fund

"We are trying to reach out to local businesses, small businesses and kind of business that will help donate some items, gift cards, money, whatever it is they can. We are going to create baskets and put them on Instagram to raffle out to people," Heinzmann said.

Money collected from the raffle will go toward revamping break rooms in Arizona ICUs.

Coronavirus in Arizona: Latest case numbers

"We need that time to step away and to regroup and reenergize so that we can continue to put everything that we are into our patient care," Dunkelbarger said.

All gift baskets will be posted on Instagram Jan. 30 and the raffle will take place Feb. 14.

To donate to the fund, send a message to this email covidnursefund@gmail.com.