Greenville Life Spring 2020 - Page 20

Jenny Balentine Brant Simms Like Usher, Hunt Regional ER tech Brant Simms also said he appreciates the greater amount of support that medical personnel has been receiving recently. “It’s definitely cool to see how the Greenville community has banded together to support medical personnel and other frontline workers,” Simms said. “I wish it hadn’t taken something like COVID-19 to get this kind of support, but that’s just the way it is a lot of times. Sometimes, it’s just human nature to not fully appreciate what others do for us until tragedy hits.” Even though many nurses are enjoying the warm vibes they’re getting from their community’s expressions of gratitude, practically every nurse has had to make adjustments in recent months in light of COVID-19, which have often forced them to extensively re-think the way they go about caring for patients. “One of the hardest adjustments we’ve had to make, during COVID-19, is thinking about our own safety first, which pretty much goes against our desire to always do what’s best for our patients,” said Hunt Regional ICU nurse Jenny Balentine. “We’ve just had to re-prioritize because we can’t waste our PPE, so we have to try and lump our care together, and maybe not check on a patient once every hour in cases where we normally would, and if you’re caring for a COVID-19 positive patient, you can’t go into their room without wearing full PPE,” Balentine’s fellow ICU nurse, Jackie Lankford added. These changes of procedure that hospital staff has had to follow and the needed shift in mentality needed to protect themselves from potential exposure to COVID-19 have proven stressful to a lot of nurses. “One of the biggest things is having to wear PPE all the time, so both us and the patients are wearing masks, and not being able to see faces has been hard to get used to at first,” Usher said. “The situation has also all made me scared of not being able to meet peoples’ needs because I’m having to prioritize and sometimes have to decide who gets care now and who has to wait. “When we’re going to work now, it almost feels like we’re going to war,” Usher said. “Everybody’s demeanor is different,” 20 Greenville Life SPRING 2020