'It's tiring, it's difficult': Cape Fear Valley Health nurse talks about staffing concerns amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

One Fayetteville nurse chose to work at Cape Fear Valley Health three months ago to support a thinly-stretched staff.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- During a time when hospitals are seeing the tail-end of the post-holiday surge, Cape Fear Valley Health's COVID-19 unit is working around the clock to treat patients.

Sarah Moore has only been on the job at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center for around three months. The registered nurse moved back to North Carolina, with her family, during the pandemic.

"When you deal with this every single day and especially in the beginning, it's tiring, it's difficult," said Moore.

That's why Moore chose to join CFVMC to bring some support to a depleted and thinly stretched staff.

Cumberland County has topped 15,000 total COVID-19 cases with 145 deaths. Despite months of upward trends, the hospital's capacity remains stable.

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"I came here to try to be somebody that can jump in and can help," Moore told ABC11 during a Zoom interview. The nurse works in the 8-South COVID-19 unit.

According to a Cape Fear Valley Health spokesperson, there are three COVID-19 units: 6 South, 8 South and ICU COVID unit. Each one increases in the conditions of the patients respectively.

The 6 South unit contains around six to seven nurses, the 8 South has nine nurses, and the ICU unit, the most critical, sees the most nurses at around 13 to 15.

"To be able to come in fresh and say, 'Here I am, let me help you, let me take over for you, you get some rest' has been...has been really great," Moore said.

Hospital officials told ABC11 the process of hiring nurses has become more competitive because of the pandemic. Many hospitals are paying more than others, trying to attract hospital staff to fill any voids.

Moore says, no matter the location, the job remains the same. She spends her days monitoring patients and "helping them get back to relative normalcy."

Moore told ABC11 that she recently completed the COVID-19 vaccine series, giving her more sense of security in helping others recover.

"That's what these patients need the most. Is they need somebody who will hold their hand and say, 'This is what we're going to do,'" said Moore.

Another major factor for hospital systems is the normal cycle of people moving to another job or retiring. CFVMC told ABC11 that they're seeing the post-holiday surge start to stabilize.
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