How Nurses are dealing with COVID-19.

Masks+worn+by+health+care+workers+during+the+pandemic.+

Masks worn by health care workers during the pandemic.

Anya B. '23, Reporter

Doctors and nurses play a huge part in protecting us from COVID-19. They run tests for cures, they keep us safe, and make sure that the virus doesn’t spread. Doctors and nurses are on the front lines fighting this virus so that we can get back to our lives because not only have our lives changed, their lives have been turned upside-down.

“When we go into work, we get screened, ask if we’ve felt sick, and they take our temperature,” said Beth Anne Amos, a nurse anesthetist at Mon General Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia.  “We have to wear masks at all times, even when we’re not in surgery. I wear the N-95 with a simple mask over top for surgeries, and a simple mask when I’m not, and we are only allowed to take the masks when we are eating.”

When asked about how her work hours, and surgery schedule has changed Amos said, “Work hours have been reduced, but they are getting better. As for my surgery schedule, there are longer blocks for surgery and all patients have to be tested before being operated on.”

Amos was also asked about the sanitation process after a surgery is over. “They definitely take longer to sanitize, and I’m pretty sure that now they use bleach wipes because it kills viruses and bacteria, while before they used just bacterial wipes.”

However, this is not the same for all nurses at all hospitals. Kathy Sue Wotring, also a nurse anesthetist at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Virginia. Wotring at the time of the interview was not working. “I have not been at work for seven weeks because they dropped my cases to focus more on COVID-19, but I go back tomorrow (May 10).”

At Winchester Med., they are also required to wear the N-95 mask under their surgical masks. “The masks are supposed to be disposable but, some of the nurses have been wearing their masks for months since there is a discrete number of medical masks.

The precautions at the hospitals are also different. “All nurses have to go through one door, call in if you feel sick or have a fever, everyone has to distance themselves, wash hands in between cases, and for surgeries they take 30 minuets for sanitization and drying.”

Everyone has been affected by COVID-19. In big ways and small ways our lives have been turned upside-down. “We can only hope that someone finds the vaccine soon, so this can all finally be over and we can go back to our normal lives,” said Amos.