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Toledo news, weather, traffic and sports | Toledo, Ohio, | wtol.com

As COVID-19 cases rise in Ohio, so does health care worker stress

Health care providers are working long hours because of the high number of patients & a shortage of staff.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As COVID-19 cases rise, so does the stress level for healthcare workers.

"As a healthcare provider, we all took an oath to do no harm, and that has to include ourselves,” OhioHealth Medical Director of Provider and Associate Well-Being Dr. Laurie Hommema says. "As someone who is talking about well-being, I have to take care of myself as well."

COVID-19 IN OHIO: 7,079 new cases reported in last 24 hours

Hommema is a Lorain native who is also a family physician in Columbus.

"I’ve cared for patients with COVID on the regular floor," she explained. "I take care of newborn babies in the hospital as well. Babies are born to moms who have COVID, and so it’s just really been just a big change."

Credit: Dr. Laurie Hommema

It’s also been challenging.

"Just going from room to room and seeing how sick the patients are, it’s really hard."

Health care providers are working long hours because of the large number of patients and a shortage of staff.  Several hospital systems are dealing with workers at home sick with the virus or being forced to quarantine because of exposure.

Hommema is urging people to wear masks, social distance. and avoid social gatherings.

"It’s so hard to watch our community having sleepovers and parties," she lamented. "We’re kind of trudging in everyday knowing what’s coming because of it."