COVID-19 surge taking a toll on frontline workers

Doctors call it the third surge of COVID-19 infections and plenty admit they’re tired. Healthcare workers on the frontlines are working overtime or without days off and it’s having a major strain on them and their teams.

One infectious disease doctor shared with FOX 11 the feeling of losing a patient to COVID-19.
The day in day out for healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 means they see the worst every day.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Alejandro Sanchez admits that it can take a toll.

“Physicians, healthcare workers, we all went in to save lives or improve people’s lives. We do accept we’re not going to save everybody’s lives but when we have this conversation of death on daily basis it does get overwhelming and old very quick,” said Dr. Sanchez an MD at Kaiser Permanente.

Next week Dr. Sanchez will be the first at Kaiser Permanente to get the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 has hit the Brown, Black and Pacific Asian communities the hardest.

Dr. Sanchez says he has treated many patients that remind him of family members. He recalled one woman, Spanish speaking only, who unfortunately died of COVID-19. 

RELATED: Stay up to date on all coronavirus-related information

“When she passed away I can just remember her fears, her concerns and having to have that conversation with the family truly took a lot of toll on me, because she reminded me of my mom and it was tough to have that conversation with her family,” Dr. Sanchez. 

Most hospitals, including Kaiser Permanente stepped up its employee assistance programs to offer support in these stressful times. Dr. Sanchez says he and his staff support each other. 

“At the end of the day, we are dealing with human lives, and we’re compassionate people here. It takes a toll, it does affect your sleep.”

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.