COLUMBUS — From recent nursing school graduates to longtime employees, Columbus Regional Health (CRH) employees are detailing what it's like working in a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doctors and nurses on the frontlines of treating sick COVID-19 patients shared their experience in videos obtained by ABC News.
"What I was not ready for was two years of difficulty and really no true end in sight," Dr. Raymond Lee Kiser, hospitalist and nephrologist, said. "It almost seems sort of unfathomably hard to know how much time we've all sacrificed and it's pretty tough ... I'm frustrated."
CRH says Dr. Kiser has been treating COVID patients since day 1 and is seeing a difference with the omicron variant. While there is a "separation" between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, the hospital is starting to see vaccinated patients come back in the hospital but with milder courses of treatment.
"Out of all of our patients who end up then getting transferred from the medical floor down to the critical care unit, we really are seeing that those are almost exclusively the unvaccinated patients," Kiser said. "We need everybody to participate. We need everyone to get their vaccines, and they're not doing it ... nobody wants to go get a shot. If you're not going to do it for yourself, do it for your community. All the hospitals are just struggling right now. All the health care providers are struggling, we're all hurting."
Becky Bevis, a Medical and Surgical RN, has also been working with COVID-19 patients since the start of the pandemic.
"Two years later, I'm frustrated. I feel like this should have been, you know, zapped in the first year," Bevis said in her video. "[I feel] just frustration, tired, exhausted from constantly dealing with it, watching, you know, death ... I don't feel like it's going to go away anytime soon."
Kaila Sizemore, a registered nurse, graduated in 2020 and began working at CRH in August.
"It's definitely not what I expected going out of nursing school," Sizemore said. "I know out of my graduating class, there's only maybe five of us that are still nurses, a lot of them are already burnt out. Just because it's been hard."
Sizemore says she has support at home, but thinks it can be hard for those who aren't working in the hospital to relate. She's also able to talk to her coworkers and fellow staff.
"We can vent to each other. I think on our forums, we're really good about helping each other out. If someone needs something like, I know that there are people that I can talk to and they'll help," she said.
Hoosiers can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine by calling 211 or visiting ourshot.in.gov.