With hospitals short staffed and at max capacity, nurses urge state officials for help.
NORTH DAKOTA – For weeks, North Dakota has led the country in most active cases per capita as its numbers continue to rise with a 14.99 percent daily positivity rate.
Nurses in North Dakota say they are overwhelmed.
“We needed these mitigation measures weeks ago. Our hospitals and our healthcare centers across our state are being stretched to their breaking point due to crushing, flooding of patients needing care,” North Dakota Nurses Association President Tessa Johnson said.
With the increase of demand for patient care, it poses the issue of adequate staffing throughout state hospitals. Some healthcare workers being stretched so thin, they are choosing to leave their professions behind.
“We’ve seen a lot of healthcare providers just kind of throw in the towel because they don’t feel supported by the places they work, they don’t feel supported by their local leaders and they don’t feel supported by the government and so they’ve just had enough and so they’ve quit and so all of those things together; not enough nurses, nurses leaving practice and too many patients is the reason that we are in this crisis,” Johnson said.
While Governor Doug Burgum has implemented measures to help with staffing, The North Dakota Nurses Association does not agree with allowing asymptomatic Covid positive nurses to work.
“They feel like they’ve been hung out to dry essentially with little support and then when the order came that they could continue to work while positive was really the last straw for them,” Johnson said..
The association is asking the governor for his support in working together to combat this crisis.
“We urge Governor Burgum to talk with the nurses on the front lines and to meet with the North Dakota Nurses Association. We have so much at stake nurses must be involved at the local and statewide decision making,” Johnson said.
The Nurses Association says Governor Burgum nor any members of the state council have reached out to them for their members’ opinions on the pandemic and how to slow the spread of the virus.