GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — "I've been a registered nurse for 37 years. The last four weeks have been unlike anything I've ever experienced in my career."
This statement is how Georgetown Community Hospital chief nursing officer, Donna Davis, started a video message to the public Thursday via Facebook. In it, she pleads for the community's help in stopping the spread of the Delta variant because the hospital staff is struggling.
"It's trying," she said in an interview with LEX18. "It's exhausting. They are physically, they're mentally and emotionally exhausted but they show up every day and give the best care they can."
Last week, the hospital saw the most COVID-19 inpatient admissions since the pandemic started.
Davis said the patients are sicker, younger, and staying longer than they did last year. This surge is simply "worse".
The hospital also said on average 80-90% of these COVID patients are unvaccinated.
Statewide, Governor Andy Beshear reported 91.3% of COVID-19 hospital patients from March to August were partially vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Across the country, there have been reports of hospital patients regretting they didn't get the shot. Davis said she is seeing the same thing at Georgetown Community Hospital.
"We've had patients say they wish that they had listened to the experts that tell them they should have gotten the vaccine."
Davis said. "That they should have listened to science, not social media but truly listened to what the science and medicine was saying."
It's hard to hear for ICU director Rhonda Dailey who said she and her staff are simply stretched thin.
"It is just very very stressful," Dailey said. "Almost chaotic at times where you have, in the intensive care unit, you have bells and whistles going off all day long."
She said the hardest part is knowing some of the sickness and loss could have been prevented.
"If they just would have had a simple couple shots, felt bad for a couple of days, then they wouldn't be in the hospital on a vent possibly never being able to come home," Dailey said.
The stress has affected her coworkers deeply, but she said they stick by each other for support.
"Here at Georgetown, we're like a family," she said. "We just help each other. Everybody knows what you're going through. Everybody has a different stress point, breaking point, and we just try to help each other get through the day."
To help, they are encouraging people to get vaccinated if they can, mask up, and social distance in public.