In the beginning of all this, I mentioned Tammy had 2 other nurse friends in New York City. This is one of them. Carrie Ann. She has a Very Special Story to tell. Tammy and Carrie met at Kindred Hospital in Peoria, and then they both worked for awhile at IVCH in Peru Illinois. Carrie is a Travel Nurse and her specialty is OB, Labor and Delivery. Carrie’s Day 1 of 21 started on March 28 2020. She is staying at the New Yorker in Manhattan and working at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. This is so heart wrenching to read her posts. But she is telling how it is. These are story’s that should be told. Their are some doubters out their that just don’t realize what is truly going on in this world with this virus. The people in the New York City are fighting for survival. We need to know what these nurses and doctors and all personal are going through to help these people daily, …..and you might wonder…. why do they do it?…..It’s because they feel the need to help. They are answering the call that they are trained for….It’s their LOVE OF LIFE AND PEOPLE. So in this blog I will copy the words directly from Carries FB site…..These will all be her words……with her permission…..Preserved for us all….
So Lets Follow her for her 21 days fighting Covid-19 in New York City
CarrieAnn is at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
March 27 at 9:57 AM · Chicago, IL ·
I’ve said it before .. being a nurse isn’t what I do, it’s who I am. It’s not always a choice, it’s a calling, sometimes you don’t even understand it yourself.
So in the words of my little brother, Im going to “bring my ass home”, but for now, let’s do this New York
Jacobi Medical Center
March 28 at 6:39 PM ·
Day 1. Jacobi Medical Center.
I’m overwhelmed and proud to be part of this group of nurses.
Ps didn’t post this morning.
March 28 at 6:52 PM ·
So I’ve decided I’m going to do something I don’t normally do, and I’m going to post about my days while I’m here..as much as I can by the time I make it to the end of the day. And it’s not going to be your average sugar coated filtered Facebook bs, I’m going to be raw and honest about what is happening here. Unfriend me now if you don’t want to know.
Day 1 started with some uncertainty because it’s the first day. No one really knows what they’re doing. A bus shuttles us from the hotel to the hospitals we are assigned to. There was a group of us on our first day so we had a day of hospital orientation before heading to the floors tomorrow. While waiting at the elevators to go up to education the nurse escorting us answered her phone and started crying, asking the person to repeat what they’d just said.. then cried out, and sobbed. She walked away then came back and told us one of their educators just died from corona.
On the bus back to the hotel at the end of Day 1 and I receive a text from a newer nurse, I think she’s been a nurse 4 years, she’s young, a lovely girl, and she was assigned to Elmhurst.
She just got on her bus, and this is what her Day 1 will look like.
Mar 29 at 8:59AM
Day 2 in NYC. I am still at Jacobi Center and I’m in Labor & Delivery where we still have plenty of supplies.
The text from my friend about her first night at a different hospital.
“ER -one nurse taking care of FIVE intubated “sedated” possible positive covid patients. five to one, he was just running around trying to keep a BP going.
they are out of ALL supplies… they’re out of pumps!? they had fentanyl/levo/propofol gtts with no pumps. they were titrating by the roller clamp. maxed out on vent settings, with sats in 70-80s and they were happy with that sat.
patients coding every couple minutes.
it’s a 50 bed ER, and they have over 200 patients in there right now. patients just stacked on top of each other and having to move stretchers around to just reach a patient in the back row.
they made a tent morgue outside of the ER and it’s full already.”
Feeling thankful beyond words for my assignment today, and praying this nurse has peace in her heart and mind this morning when she lays down to sleep. Even just for a few hours. ♥️
March 29 at 9:08PM
Today I got my assignment, and thanked God above my whole walk to the labor and delivery unit.
That group of nurses were so appreciative -so thankful that we’re here to help- I’ve never felt so appreciated walking onto a shift. They took me in as one of their own made me feel welcome and did not miss an opportunity to thank me, all day long.
The TV in the break room runs between ABC NBC CNN and Fox news all day long, trying to keep up with the latest with Covid while managing our patients.
Employees at the hospital were picketing outside the emergency room and I’m not even really sure why… The biggest complaint I hear is about having to use the N95 masks for a week before we can get a new one. They gave out small brown paper bags, like a lunch bag, to store it in.
The labor and delivery unit is dated, and not well laid out. The cabinets are falling off hinges with long mismatched screws holding them on, and there is paint chipping off most of the corners of walls, and along the ceilings. But it doesn’t change the overall feeling of optimism on this unit, and in the midst of everything going on all around us, we had a delivery of a healthy baby girl today.
Every nurse that got on the bus wore her day on her face, some spoke it in words, some look defeated. One cried. We talked about our day.. the good, and the bad, then finished the bus ride back with our acapella rendition of Joe Diffys John Deere Green. RIP Joe
March 30 at 7:02PM
Today I learned why Mondays get a bad rap. New York hospitals did that.
It doesn’t matter how experienced or strong of a nurse you think you are, you’re not ready for this. I got there, took my assignment in triage, and the door didn’t stop revolving. Within the first hour all the triage beds were full and there was a line waiting. Some were belligerent and cussing demanding to be seen, some were tearful, all were scared. Everyone’s wearing masks and complaining of how hot they are. Management is visible, on the floor working, asking what you need, how they can help.
These women are coming in alone, leaving their husbands, sisters, moms- whoever brought them- in the waiting room as they are assessed and treated. If they stay they can have one support person, no trading off- ONE person, per patient, per stay…. WHEN THEY ARE HAVING A BABY. Or when they’re not. Some of these girls are miscarrying, or having a threatened miscarriage, and they have to pick the one person that can sit next to them, hug them, tell them it’s going to be okay. One person. Because of this virus. Oh, and when they do deliver, dad gets one hour to bond then they have to leave .. til mom goes home.
Covid in pregnant women is a hard thing to look at. She’s struggling to breath and her 02 sats are in the 70-80s. Do you know how much oxygen that means her baby is getting? She went to ICU. I didn’t have time to check and see how she was doing after she left our floor.
I also didn’t have time to eat, drink, or pee. I can feel my heartbeat in my feet after sitting down for 10 minutes on this bus, and don’t even feel sorry for myself because I had more help than the night shift I just left.
March 31 at 9:27PM
I wasn’t going to post words tonight, but just a picture. If you haven’t seen it, this isn’t some professional National Geographic wait for the perfect poignant shot picture. It’s a snapshot, taken with a phone, by a nurse, here, in New York City.
Ive always been a believer of “to each their own”. I’ve never had a hard time respecting someone’s opinion or beliefs without agreeing with them myself. And then today I find myself typing out the words “you’re a fucking idiot” in response to a strangers comment on a friends post. A stranger. Going on and on about how this virus is a hoax. Well-?! .. is he..? an IDIOT?? Are people that fn STUPID? I just hope..these individuals don’t end up with the virus themselves and need the medical attention and treatment from one of these doctors or nurses that read that shit. Because I think, for the first time in my life I would walk on by.
April 5 at 7:05 PM
Day 5 was mixed. I am sore and I am tired. My back hurts from being on my feet for 15 hours a day, and there are open spots on the back of both my ears from wearing a surgical mask over the N95, to try to make it last longer. You end every day with a headache from the tightness and pressure of the N95 on your face all day. We have two rooms just dedicated to corona virus rule outs on Labor and Delivery, and we are going to ICU to do fetal monitoring for positive moms. We constantly weave in and out of ambulances on the way to and from the hotel. I’m not complaining.
I was present and praising God at the beginning of 2 new lives today. The OB charge nurse called the 4 of us crisis nurses together n she stood up and told us that when she saw on the news that nurses were coming from all over the country to help in NY, she was emotional and touched. When she heard her hospital was getting 200 nurses, she was excited. But when we walked onto her unit to work, she couldn’t believe it. She thanked us with a sincerity that was raw and I will never forget.
Across town my friend Sid had a different day. When she text me I put my phone down and cried. You don’t even have to be there to feel the terror of that shift. Its not plateaued, and it’s not slowing down. Again, she is not at the same hospital I am.
****five codes… they all die. staff is so so rude and unhelpful. it’s such a toxic environment.
my patient was one of them at 0630. my vent stopped working because it’s a damn portable and he’s been on it for three days. they refused to get him another one and said that they had to save them for other patients… I bagged him for a good 30-45 minutes without a peep valve and of course he started to decompensate. it was me and a resident and nobody would help, he coded and died. the bus has left me. I have to wait for a van to come get me.
we are reusing code carts over and over, we have no oxygen on the unit, the low oxygen alarms are going off, we are out of sedation, we’re using pediatric pulse ox’s… i’m doing things that are just going against my morals and it’s so hard to see how these patients are going down.
I do not think covid is killing these people, it’s the lack of staff, education, equipment and resources…. *****
And so now there’s that.
Oh, and my other friend here, that I came with, she was in the ER today, positive.
April 3 at 8:07 PM ·
On day 7, the Midwest is looking really good. After a week here, working nonstop, you’re a different person. I miss home, miss my kids and I miss my husband, Joshua, who tried everything from arguing to pleading with me not to go-because he was worried about my health-but has been indescribably supportive, and encouraging me every day. I love you.
Im irritable and emotional. Tears fell out of my eyes and right down onto my patients bed yesterday as I’m leaning over her doing all the things when we lost fetal heart tones. That’s not how I nurse, and has nevvver happened. I just couldn’t help it.
The feeling of impending doom is heavy. There are numerous morgue trailers, morgue tents, and mobile morgue trucks all over the city. Ambulances constantly speeding by, lights on, horns blaring.
Don’t miss the view from my patients labor room below.
The hospitals here have now started ethical triage. That’s when families are simply told there are no ventilators to save your family member. Do they need a ventilator to survive? Yes? Then roll them over there to die.
People over 65 have been denied ventilators to give it to a younger person who has a better chance. WHAT-?
Many healthcare workers here are writing their last will and testament.
New York has now initiated orders that first responders cannot transport people to hospitals if they cannot be revived on the field. They just don’t…even…take…them. Can you imagine, in our country, calling 911 because your wife can’t breath and they won’t even put her into the ambulance?
Thousands of nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors have come to New York, and are risking their lives to help. NO ONE knows how they will respond to the virus..you may be okay, you may die.
All you have to do is stay home.
Or you could be standing in the emergency room hearing “I’m sorry but we don’t have a ventilator for your wife/son/daughter.” No bullshit.
How bout the NYFD though, greeting nurses for our shift 🙌🏼❤️
April 5 at 10:07 AM ·
Yesterday was day 8, and it was the closest representation of a “normal” day in labor and delivery. I had a 1:1 mag patient that I was able to give the appropriate amount of attention to, and I didn’t feel like running off the floor once. I’ve gotten a lot of support and kindness from the staff nurses here, and that makes a huge difference.
There are 2 covid+ moms on the unit- these women are SICK- and we sectioned a mom that was in ICU because her oxygen was in the 80’s, and although she resisted having a c/s all day, insisting God would get her through it, her body couldn’t win out over the strain the virus was putting on it. Her baby was born alive and went to NICU.. but this unit continues to focus on life and beginnings. It’s upbeat- a small little bubble of happiness compared to the rest of this city.
I also received a package from the best best friend, Lynn, with more “stuff” I couldn’t live without! Shaina, you’re a special kind of person, and I’ll never forget the N95s you had for yourself, but sent to me instead. ♥️
So I’ll use this opportunity to share some pics I’ve taken since I’ve been here..none too exciting, no touristy or cool things that one would want to see on their first trip to New York, but New York nonetheless.
Madison Square Garden
New Yorker, Carries Hotel
April 5 at 3:02 PM ·
Live♥️ NYFD here showing love to the health care workers!
April 6 at 9:38 AM ·
Day 9….Yesterday was my 9th day in a row working in New York City.
The NYFD came to Jacobi and showed the nurses and docs some love, and that was cool.
L&D was slow so I was floated to PEDS, which isn’t pediatrics at all anymore. It’s now an adult med-surg with double occupancy rooms. Practically every patient is covid positive or covid rule-out. The stream of admissions literally doesn’t stop and I heard the charge nurse say I’m at maximum capacity now so what do I do- put 3 in a room?
The mood is still upbeat. This charge nurse was joking and laughing, trying to keep his nurses light and moral high.
One of the nurses in my group got onto the bus tearful, saying she lost one of the patients she’s taken care of since we arrived here. A 38 year old man, who left his wife and 10 year old son, and died alone because of quarantine. The things etched in our minds eye and memories are hard to explain in words, you just can’t understand it without seeing it.
The people who are really sick go from bad to worse quickly, and recovery, if at all, is very slow. The few people that do get extubated, are still 100% dependent on BiPAP. For those who are intubated, more than half are on very strong medications to keep their blood pressure up. And still many of them are dying anyway, despite our best efforts. The most tragic part, is that they are alone. Staff uses their iPhones regularly so that families can use FaceTime to see their person one last time, and say goodbye.
There are videos people are taking suggesting that the situation in New York is not as bad as the media projects. I don’t have the time to watch all the news right now, and I can agree that the streets, even around the hospitals, are not crowded. However, that is NOT an accurate depiction of where actual patient care is being provided. At least in Queens, and the Bronx.. even Manhattan, every department that cares for the critically ill is stretched way beyond normal capacity. I have been working with nurses and physicians, anesthesiologists, general surgeons, gynecologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists, all of whom have been stepping in to do their best to function as intensive care and/or emergency medical providers. In the emergency room, there literally is no more room for additional stretchers, and those less ill are sitting in chairs, for hours and hours.
This pandemic is real. The severity, which luckily doesn’t seem to impact the majority, is devastating for the minority. Please- distance yourself from others. Act like you have it, and everyone who doesn’t live with you has it too. You may get Covid, you may not. You may get really sick, you may not. But you could be the reason someone else does, without ever knowing.. and some of them are DYING. Dying with no family member there in their final moments…and that would be much worse than missing out on time with your friends, or not eating in your favorite restaurant.
April 7 at 8:24 PM ·
Day 10….Yesterday was day 10. My friend was woken by a call on her room phone from the NYPD, saying there was a complaint against her and she needed to come to the police station for questioning. The officer told her he didn’t want to embarrass her so he would give her time to shower, and she could wear her street clothes (not scrubs) down to the lobby where he would meet her in 40 minutes, walk her out and cuff her before putting her into his car. She called home to fill them in and was told to call the police station back and ask questions.
She learned that no officer had called her, no complaint had been filed against her, and no officer was coming to pick her up to take her to the police station for questioning.
She notified our company who quickly made arrangements to move her, and make her non-registered. They are also making frequent checks on her.
So not only are we fighting the virus, lack of sleep and hot meals, long hours on our feet, homesickness, death in our faces…. now we have to worry about abduction, or worse.
W. T. F.
Today was my 11th day working in New York.
It was a good day.
I was just a labor nurse, it was a nice pace, with wonderful fellow nurses, and a good delivery.
God is present, and He is good.
I am tired, and homesick, He knew I needed a day like this.
April 9 at 6:04 AM ·
I have NO WORDS for the overwhelming feeling of gratitude and appreciation to each and every one of you- and I know who you are- that took the time out of your day -and money out of your wallet- to send me something here in New York to make my time easier. I’ll never forget it. ♥️♥️♥️
April 9 at 7:03 PM ·
Day 13….Today was my 13th day here. Today we also had military nurses arrive at the hospital and assigned to the floor. It is an actual deployment for them. Today I started my shift counting the codes paged overhead, and just realized I stopped counting at 11, hours ago. Today we started swabbing all patients admitted to labor, regardless if they show symptoms or not. Have any of you had this done?..or seen it done?… if you haven’t yet, go ahead and search a video. The swab goes up your nostril all the way back, to your throat. Thrrroaat. Their eyes water and they try to stall, some women push the providers hands away over and over..and then they swab the other side.
I miss home, and it feels so much longer than 2 weeks. But I have so much love and support from home..thanks again to all of you that sent me care packages, you can’t know how much of a difference it makes. And this unit continues to make each of us one of their own, embracing us more every day, with endless thank you’s.
I still feel healthy, with no signs of illness, so I won’t be whining or complaining.
This is Carrie’s first 13 days. It is so hard to comprehend as we just sit here every day waiting for the days to pass. We see it on the news, but the reality does really have the full impact unless you know someone who is fighting the fight……Part 2 will follow her to DAY 21