Nurses at the Alaska Native Medical Center say aside from long hours and the emotional toll of seeing Alaskans dying from the coronavirus, they’re also dealing with people doubting their intentions.
The virus is compounding all problems at the hospital because the staff is stretched so thin.
One bill would expand the use of telehealth care, while another would allow Alaska to join a compact with other states to make it easier for nurses to be licensed in Alaska. Hospital leaders told lawmakers that it’s most important that the state act quickly, no matter the method.
The state also reported 801 new coronavirus infections, the second highest daily case count since the pandemic began a year and a half ago
Operations that might be put off include vascular surgery for a heart bypass, cancerous tumor removal or joint replacement.
Leaders of Alaska’s largest hospitals say a steep rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations is straining a health care system that’s already struggling with staffing shortages and a burned-out workforce.
Alaska tallied 882 new infections last week — up 140% from the week before. The vast majority of new cases involve people who aren’t vaccinated.
For the tribes, it’s about guarding their sovereignty as governments.
Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson will lead Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, an organization with more than 3,000 employees.
The most common cancers among Alaska Native people are breast, colorectal and lung cancer.