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‘It’s very crazy’: Wichita nurse shares experiences inside swamped hospital

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As cases rise in Kansas so do to the concerns from the medical community as hospitals in Wichita deal with a shortage of beds and shortage of staff.

“It’s very crazy, very short staffed, overworked, long hours, and a lot of stress,” said Susan Harrison.

Harrison is a registered nurse in the Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit at Ascension Via Christi, St. Francis. A section she says is now dealing with the coronavirus, “Currently, we do have a COVID patient.”

The surge in positive coronavirus patients switching up their regular duties.

“We are receiving all the ICU patients that can’t go to their normal ICU because those ICUs are completely full of COVID patients,” she said.

Harrison working up to six shifts a week, saying it’s all hands on deck with any hands they can find.

“You might not work on a COVID unit, but they pulled nurses from every unit to help in the COVID units. So, everybody is extremely overworked.”

Back in Spring, Harrison went to Chicago to help on the frontlines of COVID-19.

Now, she says people are having to come to Wichita.

“We just can’t do it all. The hospitals are full of a lot of times all the Wichita area hospitals are on diversion, and we can’t take any more patients because we don’t have any more beds.”

As the holidays are right around the corner, she wants to remind Kansans to do their part.

“Do it for us to help minimize the patients coming into the hospital on a daily basis,” Harrison said.

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