Centers Solutions – COVID EDITION: What Nurses face working in the COVID unit


MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) Day in and day out, our first-responders are ready to answer the call covering exhausting shifts that can sometimes last up to 72 hours. 

“Mental health and physical health are all very connected. So if your mental health is struggling, that is going to affect you physically. These are jobs (in the medical field) that require a lot of physical effort, a long time on your feet, a lot of energy, and a lot of adrenaline. You need your mind to be at its strongest point because you’re making serious decisions, which is a critical part; your mental health is critical.”

Melanie Saiz, Marketing Director, Centers for Children & Families

Here in the Permian Basin, the experts at The Centers for Children and Families, Kristi Edwards, executive director, and therapist, and Melanie Saiz, marketing director, share a glimpse into what our first-responders are experiencing.

For their Centers Solutions podcast this week they interviewed a local nurse, Heather Hale, who shared the fears and challenges she faces working in the COVID unit. 

“That was really surprising to hear from her (Hale), in her voice, talking about how quickly they get attached to the human person they are dealing with only to lose that person in the same shift. Then they have to continue working and are not able to take that moment and process that. They have to keep going because there are other patients. That was very sobering to me.”

Melanie Saiz, Marketing Director, Centers for Children & Families

Edwards said, that Hale also discussed the anger she felt putting her life on the line trying to save those with the virus and at the same time seeing many individuals not wear masks in the community.

If you are a first-responder, Edwards says it’s essential no matter how busy you may be to take some time to process the difficulties you experience during your shift. 

“We encourage that you find that second because you are not going to be good to anyone completely, if you’ve run out of steam and then you’re down and your susceptible and calling in sick. We want to make sure supervisors find ways to make time for that. If you are in the middle of a busy day, you have to go to the bathroom at some point. Go in there and scream and pound the wall. Or sit there for a while, try to do something, make a phone call to someone you know will be uplifting. You’ve got to take that time.”

Kristi Edwards, Executive Director & Therapist, Centers for Children & Families

Ewards also says it’s important to remind yourself that you’ve chosen this line of work and knew there could be some tough moments. Remembering your passion for starting the job helps you find joy in your work as you go through rough patches.

Through July, Centers for Children and Families are offering free sessions to all Health Care Workers and First-Responders fighting Covid-19.


Along with the weekly Centers Solutions podcast, the team at Centers is also working on a special podcast called Voice from 2020. The goal of the project is to create a time capsule of stories from this challenging year. Whether funny or painful, the team is looking for submissions of recorded stories. For instructions, click here. If you have additional questions, you can email


Centers Solutions: COVID EDITION podcast: A Nurse’s Burden (Available Friday)

For more information about resources, contact Centers for Children and Families:

  • Midland: 3701 Andrews Highway | Midland, TX 79703 | (432) 570-1084
  • Odessa: 4241 Tanglewood Ln. | Odessa, TX 79762 | (432) 580-7006
  • Website:

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