Nursing Homes Issue Desperate Call For Help As They Say Staff On Brink Of Burnout


Wednesday, November 18th 2020, 6:16 pm
By: Erick Payne


TULSA, Okla. -

Nursing home leaders are desperately calling for emergency funding and support due to COVID-19 as professionals said their nurses and staff are on the brink of burning out.

Nursing home leaders said they're doing as much as they possibly can to fight the surge.

Joan Walters' family member is living at the Beacon Ridge Senior Mental Health Center in Sapulpa.

"We are blessed with having our loved one there," Walters said.

Walters said it's been tough during the last several months of the pandemic, but they are very appreciative of the nurses and staff.

"I think they do everything possible and have certainly tried to keep the pandemic from coming in," Walters said.

However, as cases of COVID-19 surge in communities across the U.S., nursing home leaders said their nurses and staff are feeling burnt out.

"Every building is having surges, so every building is having staffing issues, every building is having fatigue and people that just want to leave," Diakonos Group COO Kimberly Green said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 4,000 long term care residents in Oklahoma have tested positive for COVID-19. 535 of those residents have died. More than 2,300 staff members have tested positive, and four of them died.

Green said just before this interview, she learned 10 staff members in one building had tested positive. She said other nursing home providers are dealing with the same issues.

"We have to have help,” Green said. “This industry will crumble. It's crumbling around us right now.”

Green said they're begging for money and protective gear from the state, and federal government.

It's help that Joan Walters said she hopes nursing homes get.

"I think they have gone all out to protect their people, my hats off to them," Walters said.

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps is asking for volunteers to help staff nursing homes because of infections.