Health care workers share their experience working front line during COVID-19

Even though it can be scary at times and stressful medical workers said their service is crucial during this time. Even if there's a risk.

Posted: Apr 4, 2020 4:38 PM
Updated: Apr 4, 2020 4:40 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—During this unprecedented time medical workers are dealing with a lot of uncertainty and worry.
News 18 spoke with two local health care professionals about their experience dealing with the impact of a virus that's unforgiving.

"We receive patients from the ER who are expected to have COVID-19, said RN at IU Health Rachel Hendrix.

Hendrix primarily works in the Progressive Care Unit which is now specifically a floor where COVID-19 positive and suspected positive patients are treated.

"Even if they test positive they may go home in a couple of days,” said Hendrix. “But there's always the risk that some patients will be unstable. So as PCU nurses we are used to taking care of unstable patients."

She's taking care of the patients while also taking care of herself. Hendrix, like many medical workers, has a family at home. She said the worry of possibly spreading the virus to her loved ones is something she thinks about.

"My family is aware that I do have a risk of bringing it home,” said Hendrix. “But they understand that I'm a nurse and that's what they want me to do they want me to be out there serving."

On the same floor taking care of COVID-19 patients are nurses' right hand helpers, the Patient Care Assistants.

"They deal with the medication and the doctors,” said PCA Elizabeth Dabbs. “Once they leave the room that's kind of my time to say "Hey are you comfortable?" "Do you need anything? Can I help you get cleaned up this morning?"

Dabbs is a PCA on the floor for COVID-19 patients. The floor has more than 20 rooms. Several of those Dabbs is responsible for.

"Unfortunately I've had the pleasure of having an entire hall,” said Dabbs. “And that can be up to twelve patients per day per shift."

Dabbs said it's an emotionally tasking job for every health worker during this time.

"We have to be a care taker, a friend, sometimes family we'll sit with people,” said Dabbs. “It's hard on every person a part of the care team really because what can you do."

It's the support of the community that Dabbs said encourages them to know they are not alone.

"Just keep like throwing high fives at us,” said Dabbs. “We've had people stand with posters in our parking lot. We had some dress as a chicken. But it's awesome that they are so supportive of us."

Medical workers encourage people to continue practicing social distancing and staying at home as they are preparing for a possible surge in cases within the next couple of weeks.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

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