Greenville Life Spring 2020 - Page 21

Cindy Usher Reese Hurley Jackie Lankford Lankford added. Like most people, precautions against and concerns about coronavirus have impacted nurses’ home lives as well. “A couple of months ago, when this first hit at least, my family was nervous for me,” Balentine said. “I felt like some members of my family and friends were avoiding me, so I felt a little like a black sheep … it was a little hard, but it’s gotten better.” When it comes to the homefront, nurses and medical professionals have also had to make decisions on how to talk about the COVID-19 situation with their children. “I have a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old. So, with the 3-year-old, we’ve talked about the reason why we shouldn’t go to the park and stuff,” Simms said. “I’ve just been trying to explain it like, ‘There’s a lot of sick people outside, and we gotta stay away and wait for them to get better. We can go to the movies and do the things you want to do later.’” Despite the extra challenge that COVID-19 has caused in the lives of nurses and medical professionals, many of them feel a renewed feeling of purpose. “I’ve always known I wanted to be a nurse, and I still love it because every day, you see people come in broken and they leave fixed,” Balentine said. “Through what I do, I believe I’m a disciple for God and it gives me an opportunity to witness to patients.” Meanwhile, some nurses have also seen the public’s attention to coronavirus as a potential sign that more people might start paying closer attention to their health in general. “Whether they’re dealing with heart disease, diabetes, or whatever health issues they have, I hope more people start being as mindful about those things as they are about COVID-19,” Usher said. “Sometimes, some good can come out of bad things.” Of his staff’s efforts, Hunt Regional Chief Nursing Officer Reese Hurley said, “I’ve really been appreciating the flexibility of our nursing staff while maintaining appropriate safety measures. “I miss seeing smiles, because of the masks, and we ended up delaying our National Nurses Week celebration, but they’ve shown a lot of ingenuity through all of this and have come up with some great ideas.” SPRING 2020 Greenville Life 21