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Forgotten on the Frontlines

Healthcare’s labor shortage amid the pandemic is leading to stress and burnout among nurses as they seek early retirement, accept temporary travel jobs or change careers

"For two years, Jessica Dahlman, a nurse at Logan Health in Kalispell, has arrived to work at 5:30 a.m. to start her 12-hour shift on the surgery center floor knowing there won’t be enough staff to accommodate the hospital’s patient load.

Since the pandemic began in 2020, Dahlman has watched hospital capacity fluctuate with numbers often nearing capacity while she’s simultaneously said goodbye to a steady stream of coworkers who have retired early, left to pursue lucrative contracts as temporary travel nurses or changed careers entirely, all because they are burned out.

“We are all suffering from some form of PTSD,” Dahlman said."


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