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Michigan nurse says pandemic burnout is very real

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One Michigan nurse says the pandemic could push healthcare workers to leave their jobs.  

Across the healthcare industry, worry has been increasing about the impact a prolonged pandemic will have on those caring for patients with COVID-19.

That could exacerbate a shortage of nurses already felt across the country.

Eric Kumor is with the Michigan Nurses Association.

“People I work with in passing talk about how do I keep doing this?” He said. “I was on a call with a few other nurses from around the state, from Marquette and Traverse City. They’re seeing that look in people’s eyes as well.”

Kumor said the stress at his job currently is at least five times what he’s used to.

“Imagine your most stressful day at work being every day at work,” he said. “Everybody’s working at like this high level of stress, this high level of diligence, this high level of anxiety all the time, and people are still slowly coming in the door.”

Kumor said the state and country are already in a nursing crisis - and can’t afford to lose people from the profession.

“There’s going to be some attrition,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of nurses leaving the hospital after this pandemic. It’s scary.”

But, in the meantime, Kumor and his colleagues are still showing up to help those impacted by the pandemic. He said he hopes the public will have conversations with the people they love about the importance of staying safe.

“That’s the kind of message I’d put out there,” he said. “I have faith that people want to protect themselves and the ones they love. It’s in their hands.”