Mid-Michigan hospitals are battling crowded facilities and staffing shortages.
Nurses at McLaren Flint say they have lost hundreds of coworkers and the administration is not doing enough.
Registered Nurse Claudia Tenore described what she sees on the job at McLaren Flint.
"Life is very sad at McLaren," Tenore said.
She said the hospital has seen at least 300 nurses walk out the door since March 1.
"We're physically and emotionally drained. A couple of days ago was the first time I really had almost a panic attack in the elevator on my way up to my floor thinking what's going to happen today?" Tenore said.
Another nurse who did not want to be identified over fear of losing her job said her concerns have fallen on deaf ears.
"We've done everything that we possibly can to be transparent with our higher ups, telling them what exactly is going on. We don't see very much of them physically down in our department. So, we're not entirely always sure what they're hearing about what's actually going on," the unidentified nurse said.
The nurse said patient care is suffering. She also claims that administrators at McLaren don't want you to know about it.
"They recently told us that we are not supposed to be speaking with family or friends or especially the public about the situation in our hospital," the nurse said.
This nurse is pleading with officials at McLaren Flint to find a way to bring in more staff.
"Put yourself in the position of that patient who is coming in with chest pain and they've been in the waiting room for sixteen plus hours. What would you like to see, you know , if you were the patient or if your mother was the patient and knew that there were bed bugs in a waiting room? Or that somebody may have died in the waiting room waiting for care?" the nurse said.
McLaren Flint released this statement to TV5:
“While the global workforce shortage, combined with the current COVID‐19 surge, has strained all hospitals in Michigan, we are determinedly working to both recruit and retain staff to ensure we can continue to meet the community’s health care needs. Over the past few months, we have implemented numerous incentive pay programs, retention bonuses for current team members, and recently launched a $1.5 million student loan forgiveness program to retain and recruit dedicated team members.”
As for Tenore, she said it's a daily struggle to get through every shift. Tenore doesn't want to add to the long list of nurses McLaren Fint has lost this year.
"I am like this close to leaving. But I don't want to leave. It's going to break my heart if I have to leave," Tenore said.