Over the last year nurses have gone above and beyond to help save lives and they continue to today. While every nurse has had a different experience on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic there is one common theme among them, the love and dedication they have for the job.
We had the chance to talk with several nurses who work for Conemaugh Health System about their experience as they work up against the virus. All say they’ve had to adapt their jobs drastically and protocols to keep their patients and themselves safe. However, things have slowly started to return to how they were before COVID-19 in some respects as they work to vaccinate the community. Everything they’ve been up against so far, they feel has only made them better equipped to help.
“Now this also allows them to be stronger nurses for sure stronger and better nurses and as they come back into the normalcy that we’re going to experience here hopefully soon you we’ll be able to carry that forth,” said John Golde a nurse with Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center.
As the vaccine rollout continues nurses say they’ll never forget everything they’ve gone through especially at the start of the pandemic when much was unknown. At one point Conemaugh Health System didn’t allow visitors to keep patients safe as the virus was spreading at a rapid rate. Nurses say unfortunately this left many COVID patients alone and even as they took their last breaths, their only communication with family via an iPad.
“My heart really aches for all the families who lost loved ones and it really saddens me to think that some of these patients that passed away were separated from their families. However, it does comfort me knowing that there are amazing healthcare workers out there that were at the bedsides holding their hand just talking to them,” said Tracy Mayancsik a nurse at Conemaugh Miners Medical Center.
The nurses expect to see a drop in people pursuing the career for some time as the pandemic comes to an end, but believe interest will eventually pick back up. Their hope is that people won’t be scared off by the pandemic to pursue the career and instead are inspired to save lives.
“Just being able to make an impact on people’s lives is such a blessing,” said Devon Seymour a nurse with Conemaugh Nason Medical Center.