10 Doctors and Nurses Reveal What It's Like Fighting COVID-19 Every Day
These medical professionals are risking their lives to help others during this unprecedented crisis.
While the coronavirus pandemic has affected virtually everyone in some way, few have been hit harder than members of the medical community. These dedicated doctors, nurses, and other hospital staffers are risking their lives on a daily basis to ensure that patients can get treatment—often without the gear they need to stay safe. If you want a peek into life on the frontlines of this pandemic, read on to see what nurses and doctors fighting coronavirus are experiencing. And for ways you can make a difference, here are 7 Small But Effective Ways You Can Help in the Fight Against COVID-19.
1. This doctor, who tested 150 patients in a single day
With COVID-19 cases surging in California, doctors at Malibu Urgent Care stepped up to heed the call, partnering with the Malibu Foundation to offer drive-up testing to 150 patients in just one day.
2. This doctor, who came up with a novel way to reassure her patients
In an attempt to help keep her patients at ease, Peggy Ji, MD, decided to put her photo and personal information on the outside of her personal protective equipment to lend the look a friendlier touch. And for some stories of ingenuity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, check out these 13 Heartwarming Quarantine Celebrations for Special Occasions.
3. This nurse, whose work during the pandemic further affirmed her career choice
Lenny, a Nevada-based nurse, managed to see the bright side of the pandemic—the care she's been able to provide has made it clear she's in the right line of work. Despite the danger she's in every day, Lenny said of the experience, "We give our hearts out to those in need…I, in no doubt know I stand in the right place at the right moment."
4. This nurse, who said she'd "never been more grateful" for her protective equipment
While protective equipment may be standard for most doctors and nurses, the coronavirus pandemic has drastically limited the availability of necessary supplies, like masks and gloves. As such, Sandi, a nurse in Oregon, expressed her immense gratitude for the mask she received at the beginning of her 12-hour shift.
5. This nurse, whose face mask left her skin marked up after a long shift
This nurse named Sarah took to Instagram to show her followers the marks her protective mask had left on her face after a long shift. She detailed the intense routine she had to follow to keep herself and her patients safe, including bleaching everything from her goggles to her shoes.
6. This nurse's aide, who convinced a patient with COVID-19 to keep fighting
It's not just the fear of catching something from a patient that can be so trying for medical professionals. Health care worker Beth Tremaglio revealed on Instagram how difficult it was to see her patients suffer, but how important it was for her to keep fighting alongside them. "This is what it's all about, losing it a little or a lot sometimes, catching your breath and coming right back to care for those who are sick and in need," she wrote. "I am inspired by my patients."
7. This doctor, who noted how exhausted his coronavirus shifts had left him
Rob Scanlon, MD, addressed the virus itself in a moving Instagram post in which he admitted the likelihood that he might become ill. However, despite his worries, he made it clear he wouldn't let fear deter him, writing, "I will spend every ounce of energy fighting every battle."
8. This doctor, who said the virus had fundamentally changed the relationship between doctors and patients
Tori Jaeger, DO, noted that the lack of definitive testing for many patients, who were simply assumed to have coronavirus, created a major shift in the trust she felt her patients had in her. "Practicing medicine a month ago looked different. There was a sanctity in the patient-physician relationship and our encounters. Will we ever get this back? I sure hope so," she wrote.
9. This doctor, who detailed how the virus upended the way medical professionals are working
Cynthia Anunobi, MD, admitted that her work was "relatively predictable" most days, but the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed day-to-day hospital life. While Anunobi said she remains hopeful, the outlook is bleak: "Every patient is fatally ill, fighting for their lives," she wrote. "There's no rhyme or rhythm to it. Anyone can be affected, anyone can die."
10. This ER nurse, who called each day "a little worse"
Though the coronavirus curve does seem to be flattening in some areas, doctors and nurses on the frontlines are still seeing an influx of desperately sick patients. ER nurse Tori called each day in the hospital "a little worse," describing in vivid detail just how quickly patients are going downhill. And if you want to learn more about COVID-19, check out 13 Common Coronavirus Questions—Answered by Experts.