Published: Apr. 29, 2022 | By Melinda Lavine

DULUTH, MN. (Duluth News Tribune) – Katja Carlson decided to change jobs, but after 20 years in health care, she stayed close to home. She pivoted from a nursing home gig to working for Ecumen Lakeshore, Duluth’s short-stay and medical rehabilitation center.

The “heartbreaking” cycle of getting attached to hospice clients who are unable to receive the care they’re used to, compounded by the realities of COVID, staffing shortages and mandated overtime, led to some stark health consequences for the Duluth resident.

“When you’re working for 14-16 hours, you go home exhausted and the next day power your way through. I needed to go on antidepressants to help balance my moods, as well as blood pressure medication. I was so stressed out,” Carlson recalled.

Now as a trained medical assistant at Ecumen, she enjoys her shift from end-of-life care. “It’s nice to see people go home instead of leaving with the funeral home, seeing them get better, get healed up, get stronger and walk out that door,” she said.

Carlson chatted about her guilty pleasure, her gifts and Betty White.

Click here to watch the video and read the full story.