'My job is just so hard right now': Nurses struggle ahead of second COVID Christmas

Dr. Angelique Campen is an ER doctor at Providence St. Josephs Medical Center in Burbank. She tells FOX 11 News, "My job is just so hard right now."

Campen, who's also a clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at UCLA, wishes everyone was vaccinated. "I have not had to hospitalize a vaccinated patient," she said. Jenean Doe, a charge nurse in the Emergency Room, describes the Thursday before Christmas as "crazy busy." It was so "crazy busy" that when Dr. Campen got home she said she nearly collapsed, "and, it was so shocking to my son that he snapped that picture." The picture was snapped after she slithered down to the floor at home totally exhausted. 

She posted that picture online with these words in capital letters: "I’M TOUGH. IF YOU KNOW ME YOU KNOW IT TAKES A LOT TO BREAK ME." But Thursday she felt broken after dealing with an array of issues, several of which were COVID-related, including several heart attacks in which patients' lives were saved. 

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To Doe, everyone in the ER was "overwhelmed. We had the influx of ambulance runs and the walk-ins," she said. There’s been stress. Campen says, "We are short-staffed because nurses and medical professionals are getting sick themselves; some of them sick with COVID." With regard to the new variant, Campen says, "... the treatment that we used to have, monoclonal antibodies, is not as effective, and there’s a lot of anger around getting sick. It’s been going on for some time. 

I’m just tired," she said. "I’m tired of these preventable deaths and illnesses, and it just breaks my heart." At her family Christmas this year everyone entering the door will receive a rapid test. In a way, that’s her gift to each and every one of them.

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