Healthcare Workers at UMC in Lubbock Reflect on Year of Pandemic

After more than a year since the beginning of their fight against the Coronavirus Pandemic, frontline workers at University Medical Center Hospital look back on a battle they never expected to face.

Kristi Valdez, Director of Medical ICU at UMC said, “Here in Lubbock, we started to see our first COVID case back in March of last year. It was an awful virus, and it wasn’t something that we were familiar with.”

Across Lubbock and the world, Healthcare Providers are considering lessons learned from a year of battling the pandemic. She further says, “Last year, for months, we took care of these COVID patients, and it was a challenging time for everyone: our staff, doctors, nurses, our patients, and their families.”

Mike Ragain, Chief Medical Officer at UMC said that after hitting peak cases in November, COVID numbers are now dropping.  A recent hospital survey of employees, revealed shocking results. “We learned that a big toll was taken on our employees. Losing 2, 3, or 4 patients on an ICU shift has an impact. Our caregivers take great care of patients and have good outcome, but being unable to help someone with the virus is tough.  There’s a lot of burnout among healthcare professionals not only here but across the country.”

Valdez and Ragain both said they are thankful for the love and support from the community. Ragain said, “Really just proud of that spirit of let’s get it done, let’s roll up our sleeves and make it happen.” She further encourages everyone to stay vigilant and continue to wash your hands, wear masks, and practice social distancing. 

About Drew Dunn

News Director for KLVT AM 1230 in Levelland. We provide local and regional news updates 5 times a day on KLVT AM 1230 and online at
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