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Doctor speaks on struggles for health care professionals during pandemic

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The recent surge of COVID-19 has taken a different toll on our healthcare professionals.

Dr. Faye Armstrong-Paap, a general surgeon with Medical Center Hospital, is now sharing her unique perspective.

One year ago, she was hospitalized with the virus and spent six days in the ICU. Today she says she still has several lasting effects preventing her from working longer hours.

She’s experienced what COVID-19 does to patients and experienced what it does to medical professionals that treat them.

One night she saw the serious effects COVID-10 had on one ICU doctor’s mental health.

“I see one of the ICU docs who just looked broken. Crying, hurting, you could tell that the anxiety and the concern and the sense of inadequacy and failure was just weighing so heavily,” said Dr. Armstrong-Paap.

Dr. Armstrong-Paap says the strain on medical workers isn’t just physical; it’s hard mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

She went on to say that they do everything they can to save patients and that it takes a toll on them when they aren’t able to save everyone.

“We expect to fix people, we expect to make them better and then when you can’t you just feel like a failure.”

Dr. Armstrong-Paap felt she needed to share her story and the sacrifices her colleagues are making to encourage people to consider getting vaccinated to help slow down the spread and prevent severe hospitalizations.

“Seeing the burden that my medical community, my medical family is going through was so great that I felt like I needed to reach out to those who weren’t sure and say ‘yeah it makes a difference.’”

Dr. Armstrong-Paap says the situation in the ICU is serious enough that doctors and physicians from other departments are volunteering to help relieve ICU doctors when they can.

She hopes West Texans will do everything they can to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

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