PHOENIX - As Arizona sees another surge in COVID-19 cases, there are now warnings that some in the trenches of the fight against the pandemic, such as nurses, are beginning to feel overwhelmed.
On Nov. 23, FOX 10 spoke with nurses who said they are exhausted, frustrated and fearful about what’s to come, as ICU and COVID beds run low.
"We're at a point where we need to open more beds," said Brittany Schilling, who works in a COVID unit at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix. "We do have an old ICU unit that we can use, but we don't have the staff at the moment, so right now, it's just similar to July and August. The staffing piece is really going to be the hardest part.."
During the summer, an influx of traveling nurses to Phoenix relieved some demand on ICU and COVID nurses.
"Back in July and August, we were one of the only hotspots, so a lot of the travel nurses could come help us," said Schilling. "Now, the whole country is in crisis, so there's just not enough staff to come help us, so nurses are going to be asked to take on more shifts, and take on more patients than they normally do."
Schilling says she fears what will happen after Thanksgiving, when so many have gathered without taking precautions.
"It's hard to really get the message across, because, like I said, unless you're here seeing it, it's hard to understand just how serious it is, but this is not just affecting older people. There are young people here in our ICU, fighting for their lives. I would ask that you mask up, distance yourselves, especially around the holidays, please limit the amount that you're seeing, because it will save the lives of many people" said Schilling.