Lubbock still dealing with shortage of nurses, social workers after COVID

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 5:35 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States fast, shutting down businesses and essential services. Airlines and businesses stopped in their tracks, but healthcare never did.

“I think no one expected COVID and no one knew the impact COVID would have on our healthcare providers,” Terri Morris, the talent pipeline program manager at Covenant, said.

During the pandemic, the impact of Coronavirus took a toll on healthcare workers, not just physically but also mentally. The supply of healthcare workers did not meet the demand of the pandemic. Healthcare workers suffered with stress, depression, and burn out. Terri Morris said during this time Covenant brought in an in house counselor that was available to all staff.

“Our numbers have tripled from what we saw five years ago in our emergency department and very very very limited resources.” Amanda Suniga, service director of case management, said.

Now hospitals are focusing on the uphill of the nursing shortage, but worries continue about filling jobs.

“It’s been an additional challenge of trying to get someone to want to come and work in healthcare in a time when it’s a little scary.” Amanda said.

She said they like to stay focused on the positives that may have come out of the devastating pandemic.

“To not lose sight of the greatness that came out of it and continue to be innovative and think about things differently so that were hopefully prepared if something like this were to ever occur again.” Amanda said.

Covenant says COVID-19 is still very prevalent and we must continue to protect ourselves. Our healthcare providers continue to work around the clock, through COVID and labor shortages, but continue to find the positives in saving lives.