Working through frontline fatigue


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Health care workers do a lot for their communities. But they aren’t invincible; they’re people who become tired and frustrated sometimes, just like everyone else.

In tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND, Dan Santella looks at fatigue on the front lines against COVID-19.

“We have seen burnout,” Sanford Health nurse Matt Peterson said. “We have seen high turnover, and that’s just kind of the name of the game right now. It’s very hard, hard work.”

“We have seen burnout,” said Dr. Kevin Post, Chief Medical Officer with Avera Medical Group. “Our frontline workers are working so hard every day under very stressful conditions. As the pandemic wears on, we continue to see signs of fatigue, but also amazing amount of resilience that our coworkers have.”

That resilience is evident in the interviews KELOLAND News did for Wednesday night’s report.

“We’re here to take care of people, so I want to be the best that I can be,” Avera Health nurse Kelsi Lindquist said. “If it was my loved one in the bed, I would want the nurse to be their best, so that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

“I think one of the difficult things with that is that as health care workers we’re feeling this disconnect with what some of the public feels as well,” said Dr. Ashley VanDyke, who practices family medicine and obstetrics with Avera Health. “I have people tell me ‘Oof, I’m so glad the pandemic is over,’ and to us it’s not over at all. Also I have people tell me that they haven’t been affected by it at all, and that is just really hard to grasp when we have been affected in every element of our lives.”

In Wednesday night’s Eye on KELOLAND, you’ll hear much more from them when we take a closer look at fatigue felt by health care workers on the front lines against COVID-19.

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