‘If you could hear their cries’ Texas trauma surgeon discusses strain of caring for COVID patients

Coronavirus

(NewsNation Now) —  A Texas trauma surgeon told her story of struggles and pain being a surgeon in a region of Texas where coronavirus cases are skyrocketing.

Dr. Brittany Kendall-Bankhead told NewsNation many Americans don’t know the agony playing out 24/7 in hospitals across the country, as COVID-19 patients battle the virus and healthcare workers race to keep up with the demand. 

A trauma surgeon at Texas Tech Hospital, Bankhead-Kendall says nurses are being bused in to her hospital and new COVID-19 intensive care units are being opened in the West Texas region where she works, due to skyrocketing patient needs. In Texas confirmed coronavirus cases are more than 1.2 million with more than 21,000 deaths, according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University.

“It’s absolutely devastating that some people think this disease, this virus, is a hoax,” said Kendall-Bankhead.  If you could come inside my walls for two moments, I would show you that it’s not but you have to trust us. We are begging and pleading and screaming for help.”

Kendall-Bankhead admitted that dealing with the seemingly endless disease and death is tiring for medical professionals but her sense of duty motivates her.

“Something innate in us, and going to medical school, it was like no one can do it better than we can,” said Kendall-Bankhead. “And if I’m not there to take care of these people every day, then no one is going to be able to.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers coping tips for healthcare workers, including:

  • Communicate with your coworkers, supervisors, and employees about job stress.
  • Recognize that you are performing a crucial role in fighting this pandemic and that you are doing the best you can with the resources available.
  • Increase your sense of control by keeping a consistent daily routine when possible — ideally one that is similar to your schedule before the pandemic.

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