"Things are already busting at the seams," said UNC Rex chief medical director Dr. Ryan Lamb. "The nurses are fried and they are relieved to see another face to get things going. So it's very busy."
His comments were recorded in September and recently shared exclusively with ABC11.
"When you look to see what we could've done and what we could be doing now to prevent this problem, it's really hard to watch," said Lamb. "And it's hard to not feel like you can't just let people know the truth."
Vaccine supporters have been fighting a mountain of misinformation and skeptics against their efforts to get more people vaccinated.
Lamb details his work as challenging in combating, he said, "the reality of what's occurring and not being manipulated by random information and people who have different goals."
Thinking of how he can improve process and patient flow at UNC Rex constantly weighs on his mind.
In one video diary, Lamb noted, "We need to separate more of the COVID patients from people who don't have symptoms of COVID in order to keep patients from mixing. So we're going to start that process today and check in later and see how we did."
At WakeMed Raleigh, nurse and emergency department manager Brittany Komansky finds work to be a juggle of priorities and patients.
"It's a game of Tetris right now," she told ABC11 data journalist Maggie Green in a recorded interview. "Everything waxes and wanes and the ER is always a roller coaster," said Komansky. "So we're just riding another wave right now, and we're going to get through it, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel."
That light can't come soon enough. The FDA approved booster shots for more Americans and children 5-11 are now eligible to receive the vaccine.
"Little by little, we'll start getting back to some sense of normalcy," Komansky said.
This comes as North Carolina's mask mandate is set to expire on Nov. 1.
"It's not just a 12-hour shift that you clock in and clock out for, it is constant. And I'm happy to do it, I wouldn't be doing anything else, but it's a lot. It's heavy," said Komansky.