Sarah Kaplan, RN UVA COVID Unit Nurse

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That is the ultimate story in a 5-part sequence of firsthand accounts from these caring for COVID-19 sufferers hospitalized at UVA Well being.

“We’ve all been traumatized. I feel we’re all stronger than we ever thought we may very well be.”

June 1 was my 30th anniversary as a nurse at UVA. When COVID hit, we ran to the hearth. We weren’t requested. We ran to the hearth as a result of it was dropped on our laps. Right here we have been, unvaccinated, and we began to deal with these sufferers. And we did it excellently.

We realized when COVID hit that we didn’t precisely know easy methods to go out and in of the affected person rooms. Find out how to put PPE (private protecting tools) on safely and easy methods to take it off safely. And our staff, together with an infection prevention management and our high quality individuals, are those who figured that out.

Making a New Mannequin of Care

We recognized, for instance, “Oh shoot, there’s an X-ray machine within the room now. How can we safely get it out with out infecting different sufferers?” From the very second COVID got here to UVA, and it got here to our medical intensive care unit (MICU), our staff was the one who discovered all of the various things.

Each day we have been studying one thing new. Each single day, one thing would change within the afternoon from what we have been doing within the morning. It has been exhausting. It was oddly scary and terrifying however type of exhilarating to start with. Right here we’re on this scenario that we’ve by no means been in earlier than. So right here we go. We bought this.

Then we have been like, “Oh shoot, we might take this residence to our individuals.” That’s one thing we lived with frequently. It’s an entire lot totally different now that we’re vaccinated.

Most Tense Day of a 30-12 months Profession

I used to be cost nurse the day we have been at 25 critically sick sufferers, and our unit was so massive that we ended up having two cost nurses. That was one among my most aggravating days in all of my 30-year profession at UVA. As a result of our objective is to supply high quality care at all times. However goodness.

I simply had a member of the family of a latest COVID ICU affected person say that COVID wasn’t actual. It’s type of maddening, truly. We’ve risked our lives and witnessed loss of life firsthand extra occasions than ever earlier than and we’d like to overlook.

We’ve all had losses by the previous 12 months. Ashley’s story along with her grandmother simply wrenches my coronary heart. My dad was recognized with lung most cancers final 12 months, and I misplaced him 11 days after he was recognized. It’s been a tricky 12 months for all of us.

We’ve all been traumatized. I feel we’re all stronger than we ever thought we might ever be. I might not have wished to undergo this with anybody else in all the world.

Thank a Healthcare Employee

Take a second to thank our staff for his or her work in the course of the pandemic.

Strolling By the Mud Collectively

I’m a lady of nice religion. So I relied on my Christian religion and it’s the grace of God that has gotten me by. However moreover, I felt assist from my staff each single day. Our managerial staff — Kris Blackstone, Rick Carpenter, and Sharon Bragg — have been superb. They’ve supported us. They’ve listened to us.

Our staff was strolling by this mud collectively, and quicksand some days, however we at all times knew that we every have one another’s again.

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