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Pandemic burnout could exacerbate Texas's nursing shortage

Some in the profession say they're ready to call it quits once the coronavirus has been dealt with.

SAN ANTONIO — As the novel coronavirus pandemic stretches into its tenth month, it continues to take a serious toll on health care workers across the country and Texas. 

Serena Bumpus, the director of practice for the Texas Nurses Association, said she's worried about the effects of burnout on her colleagues. She said many describe their jobs now as exhausting. 

"We don't get into this profession necessarily to see the amount of death that we have seen since the start of the pandemic," Bumpus said. "There are several who have said, 'When COVID is done, I'm out. I'm not going to leave my team in the middle of this crisis, but I'm not going to continue to do this anymore.'"

A potential post-pandemic exodus would hurt a workforce that's struggling to keep up with the state's growing population. Texas's supply of nurses missed the state's demand mark by almost 28,000 in 2018. 

Now, there's a worry that those numbers may increase as a result of the pandemic and the toll it's taken on the nursing profession as a whole. 

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