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Since Arkansas hospitals struggle with staff, healthcare workers from other states coming to help their colleagues



Arkansas – The latest Covid-19 wave just revealed what health experts have been noting since the start of the pandemic, the staffing shortages in hospitals across the country.

The Delta wave filled the hospitals with patients and the problem with the ICU beds availability is nothing compared to the healthcare workers shortage.

Now healthcare workers from other states are coming to Arkansas to help their colleagues battling the virus and handling the situation in the hospitals.

Well, one Wisconsin health care worker packed up her bags and came here to Arkansas to help out on the frontlines.

Frankie Karns-Van Lieshout described it as a ‘cyclone.’

“I’ve been working in healthcare for 20 years and I can say safely, that I have seen more people die in the last 18 months than over any period in my career,” she said.

Being a part of the Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS) for the VA, she is sent to different cities during their most crucial time of need.

“It’s certainly challenging, but I’ve been doing this job for so long that you just lean on the skills you have and lean on the things that you know,” she said.

According to her, she will take care of the sickest Covid-19 patients since he is respiratory therapist. Her help is more than welcome for the local hospitals.

“They just sit on oxygen for months and we are just stringing them along the best we can,” she said.

Just like many other doctors, the hardest part of her job is to see someone dying while his closest family relatives are on the other side of the door.

“Seeing so many people die, and more than that seeing so many of them die alone: it’s something I’m going to walk around with until I die,” she said. “I’ll be thinking of the last 18 months for the rest of my life.”

Being a respiratory therapist, she knows how serious the situation with the virus might become in a short period of time and urges everyone to get the shot as soon as possible.

“If I could say anything to everyone on the planet, I would say that into a microphone and make everyone wear headphones and listen to it on repeat because it’s not a joke. It’s not fake, it’s very much real and I wish it wasn’t,” she said.