Hospital CEOs discuss how pandemic has taken a toll on healthcare workers

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 4:35 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The pandemic has taken an emotional toll on almost everyone in one way or another and people in healthcare have been on the front lines for almost two years. Tonight, we hear from the four local hospital CEOs, about the toll it is taking on healthcare practitioners here in the County.

“We’re trying to pass the message let’s not lose our compassion. It’s easy to get mad or angry because people are dying around you because no ones getting vaccinated, but we’ve got to remember in health care we’re here for those that need us, not judge them. We still have to respect everybody’s decision. But sometimes it gets tough when this has been two years of gowning and you’re worried about bringing it to your family and infecting them or your loved ones. And people are still not getting vaccinated and showing up at our hospital, asking us to help them. We’ll do it. But one message we’ve got to get loud and clear to all our health care people, let’s not lose our compassion for those who are not vaccinated,” said Peter Sirois, CEO of Northern Maine Medical Center.

“Unfortunately in Aroostook county we’re communities, tight knit communities. So, really our health care workers know the very patients that they’re taking care of in many cases, their friends or family members. They’re seeing real sickness and real death all around them, and it’s taking a toll. It is both an exhausting experience, but also an emotional experience that, frankly, none of them, as they tell me, ever want to experience again,” said Shawn Anderson, CEO of Houlton Regional Hospital.

“You know, we talk about some of these anecdotal stories and again, this morning, talking to some of the nursing staff in the ER, and they were slammed last night and patients end up laying in our ER, waiting for beds as we have discharges. But the nursing staff standing around saying, we’ve got this, you know, we can do this. They coach each other, they support each other, they love each other through it. Anybody who’s watching this, if you know somebody who works in health care, works in EMS, works in a nursing home, works in home health, takes care of any patients. Please thank them immensely. Congratulate them for all that they do for these patients, because it is, it has taken a toll, but they come back and do it every day,” said Kris Doody, CEO of Cary Medical Center.

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