Facing patient surge, healthcare workers take extra shifts this Thanksgiving


FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2021 file photo a R.N. holds the hand of a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Kyle Gree, File)

DENVER – Healthcare workers across Colorado are having to work extra shifts this holiday season because of a surge in COVID cases across the state.

“I’d love to be home with my family but my second family is my team in the ICU,” Dr. Joshua Solomon, the Section of Critical Care Medicine and Department of Medicine with National Jewish Health said.

Dr. Solomon took a shift at another hospital in the metro area this Thanksgiving to help out. He spent his holiday at Good Samaritan Medical Center in the ICU.  

“Today we had 18 patients all are COVID, 17 of them are on life support,” Dr. Solomon said.

 Compared to pre-pandemic Dr. Solomon said healthcare workers are facing changes when it comes to scheduling over the holidays. He said that is because of a shortage of staff and increase in patients.

“Thanksgiving is not my holiday but I’m stepping up like all my colleagues to help,” Dr. Solomon said.

He stated, after Thursday’s gatherings, especially those indoors with large groups that hospitals here will see more of an increase in patients.

“I’m worried were going to see a peak during Christmas because of this holiday not sure where were going to put the patients but we will figure it out,” Dr. Solomon said.

Dr. Solomon is hopeful, if the FDA approves of Pfizer’s anti-viral pill, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel of COVID.

“‘Next year will be a bit brighter and at some point you’ll say ‘oh it’s like the common cold, you’ll take a pill and get on with your life,'” Dr. Solomon said.

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