ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) — Front line workers in the Permian are describing a battle on two fronts – one directly with the virus, and the other with the perceptions and misconceptions of the virus. Earlier this week, Kit Bredimus from Midland Memorial Hospital spent the last few minutes of their COVID-19 stats update to shine light on the issues his staff are having. After speaking to other hospitals, it seems those issues are not isolated.
I know that we have the hospitals closed essentially to visitors. I wish people could see what really is happening here.Jami Chapman, Director of Acute Care Telemetry Units at ORMC
As cases and deaths rise, so are the nurses hours. One nurse illustrated a day when she worked 20 hours, then went home and read the comments on her hospital’s daily Facebook update.
“I’ve limited my time on social media just because of that – I don’t want to feel angry. I try to not take it personally but we are all human so for us not to take it personally is very hard because we have feelings just like they have feelings.”Marissa Sierra, Clinical Manager of Acute Care
Nurses spoke of their struggles playing as family for those who pass, since hospitals are not allowing visitors still.
“This patient had a life, she had a scared pregnant daughter who was 8 months pregnant and she would call every day. And then to have the patient deteriorate before my own eyes… it was so heartbreaking.”Marissa Sierra, Clinical Manager of Acute Care
Doing God’s work … doing the work we need them to do. It’s their passion. So they go and give themselves, empty themselves everyday. They go home and they are not able to connect with their faith, their community, most of their social community and they don’t get filled back up. But we are here to do is help fill them back up. We want to give them coping skills for whenever they have to do something for themselves or they recognize they have to reach out for help, we want to be the people they reach out to.Kristi Edwards, Centers for Family and Children
Below is the full interview with the nurses, who further elaborate on their thoughts on the battles they face, including more on their thoughts on people with preexisting conditions, and having to deal with the quick turnaround from one patient to another.