Local nurses discuss working through COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Coronavirus pandemic has turn our eyes and appreciation to our medical professionals caring for the sick.

There are still many unknowns when it comes to COVID-19. Nurses and other healthcare workers are being thrown into a situation they never imagined would happen.

Chelsea Trotter is a registered nurse in the Medical ICU at UPMC Altoona.

“I didn’t sign up for working in a pandemic or ever thought that I would have, but it’s quite the experience for sure,” she said.

She works with patients who have the Coronavirus.

“We get the sickest patients that you can get at the hospital…We pretty much gown up like we’re going out into space. We have full on gowns and gloves, multiple gloves, multiple masks, eye protection, head gear, shoe covers,” Trotter said.

Registered nurses Breanna Shenk and Abby Arthur work with patients in the Cardiothorasic ICU at UPMC Altoona.

“Being able to watch them go from the worst day of their life and you helping to get them better to the best days of their life is really why I became a nurse and why I stay as a nurse,” Shenk said.

“There’s gonna be good days. There’s gonna be bad days. The good days will far outweigh the bad,” Arthur said.

From wearing a mask for 12 hours straight to worrying about patients when their off the clock, these nurses rely on each other to push through the hard times and continue coming to work.

“We’re going through this together, and we all have the same fears. We all have the same worries, so to be able to rely on one another is amazing,” Shenk said.

For anyone considering going into nursing or the medical field, all three women said if you can make it through the tough days, it’s the most rewarding career.

National Nurses Week is May 6 to 12.

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