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Local nurse talks about working on front lines

Coronavirus

As we are all asked to stay home to do our part in this pandemic, healthcare workers don’t have that option. Many are working longer days than ever, on the front lines of this crisis. 17 News wants to thank doctors and nurses for their sacrifices and share some of their experiences.

Lori Warkentin-Schoene is a labor and delivery nurse who has worked at Mercy Southwest Hospital for 25 years. She says the feeling around the hospital right now, even on the labor and delivery floor, is “eerie.” While the general public is asked to stay home to stay safe, nurses go to work every day in the very place people with this virus are treated. “You know the virus is everywhere. When I rub against a door or turn a doorknob, I automatically go to the hand gel and clean my hands because I feel like germs are swarming around me. Everybody feels the same way and our hands are getting chapped and sore from washing so much and I can’t explain that feeling of eeriness but that is what it is. It’s eerie. Because you don’t know when the other shoe is going to drop. When are we going to have an influx of patients that are COVID positive. Will it happen today? Will it happen tomorrow? Maybe it won’t? I pray that it won’t. That’s all we can do is pray,” says Warkentin-Schoene.

Dignity Health sent us a statement that reads:

“There is no higher priority than the safety of our people and our patients. Dignity Health Mercy Hospital has been working non-stop to ensure that all team members who need personal protective equipment (PPE) have the right equipment, at the right time and are using it correctly.
We continue to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) around appropriate use of PPE and to look ahead to anticipate what we will need to
provide efficient and expert care to all of our patients, including COVID-19 patients, over the
next few weeks.
Our approach to supplies and equipment is a big part of this future planning. We are working
with suppliers around the world to obtain additional safety supplies and await the arrival of these
supplies soon. Additionally, we are working hard to ensure our employees are not only aware of
and trained on our PPE protocols, but also that our facility leadership are responding to our staff
quickly should they have questions, concerns, or thoughts.”

If you’re working on the front lines right now, first of all, thank you! KGET would like to help share what you’re going through. If you would like to share your experience, you can email sunrise@kget.com.

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