KANSAS CITY, Kan. — As hospitalizations rise across the Kansas City metro, healthcare workers are feeling the extra burden with shortages at local hospitals.

“We need time off too, we have feelings, we just so happen to care about other people and we’re there, we want to help,” said Courtney Moore, a nurse at the University of Kansas Health System. “But at some point, we’re all getting burnt out.”

The brutal reality of being a healthcare worker in 2021, affects that reach further than the hospital walls.

“We have significant staffing shortages throughout healthcare,” said Dr. Steven Stites, chief medical officer at KU Health System. “You’re seeing people canceling cases left and right, canceling clinics because they can’t staff the practices, they can’t staff operating rooms, we can’t staff inpatient beds.”

As a new variant of the virus that has changed life as we know it continues to spread, the loss of life mounts, becoming grim business as usual for trained medical professionals doing all they can.

“The amount of spouses and children I’ve seen break down and cry when they see mom or dad on the ventilator, we have to take them off the ventilator, off of life support,” Moore said. “It’s just been really tough to get to know these people before they even go on the ventilator and then coming back maybe the next day at work and they’re gone.”

Doctors stress the importance of getting your vaccine, not just for yourself but your family, community and health providers as a whole.

“Overall it continues to be a very low percentage or amount of people who are fully vaccinated coming to the hospital needing that care,” Dr. Dana Hawkinson, with KU Health Systems, said.