MINNEAPOLIS — Mary Turner has spent more than two decades as a frontline healthcare worker, and with every new COVID-19 case and death, she thinks about the people she takes care of in the ICU daily.
Turner, who is also the president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, said every hospital is now having the conversation about what can be done, as staffing issues and rising concerns about available beds persist.
“About a month ago we had nine intensive care nurses that were out," Turner said. "Not too long ago we had 12 emergency room nurses that were out, every hospital is experiencing this.”
There have more than 12,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state with 56 new deaths reported Wednesday.
“It’s going to get to the point where you just need extra pairs of hands,” Turner said. "It’s going to be the experts in the COVID-19 unit directing a team of other doctors."
Turner said hospitals are also having the conversation about elective surgeries, which she said is "subjective" and taken into consideration on a "case by case" basis.
"I've been there myself where I have had knee replacements, and I wouldn't have wanted someone to tell me that my surgery was canceled,” Turner said.
While Turner and other nurses are now praising the state’s new COVID-19 guidelines, she's hoping people take precautions when it comes to holiday gatherings in hopes it will potentially save lives.
“I want your loved ones to be there next year at Thanksgiving,” she said. “I want you to be able to celebrate for many years to come."