ST PAUL, Minn. — Here in Minnesota and across the world, nurses are battling on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. While they wage war on disease and injury every day to help patients recover, what nurses are now facing is a different beast.
Kelsey Swangstue and Ally Fortin are both nurses who treat COVID-19 patients at Regions Hospital.
Each day begins with nurses receiving their bag of personal protective equipment. The first couple hours of the shift are spent helping different teams of nurses and taking care of different patients.
Both of these caregivers say there was plenty of anxiety as the outbreak began.
“At first there was a lot of worry and concern about what was to come. You heard scary stories coming from across the world,” Fortin said.
The stories she heard were on the mark. Regions has never had as many sick patients as they do right now, Fortin says.
“We’ve never been this busy before, we’ve never had it so hard before.”
The nurses say their hearts break for families and patients who can’t be together, but at same time they say they feel privileged to care for people at such an important time.
“Please know that all the things you’re doing at home are helping, and all the kind words, the gestures, of thanks and gratitude, they help us,” Fortin said.