ALL NAMES ON THIS PAGE (Covid: The First Few Days) OR ANY PAGE ASSOCIATED WITH that-nurse-patty.com OR CALLMENURSEPATTY.HOME.BLOG HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF THOSE INVOLVED.
Covid: The First Few Days
So…I work at a long term care facility, AKA a nursing home. I’m sure you have heard that awful story of those nurses leaving a long term care building up north somewhere; Well I’m here to tell you, some of the most deticated nurses and CNA’s I have ever worked with work in nursing homes! So don’t knock it, till you yourself have lived it, sort of speak.
Anywho, when I first heard of covid it was on the news, they didn’t seem too concerned, labeled it as the next flu and the broadcast was at the end the night, but they were doing a cerfew and some small businesses were closing early. I figured that it would blow over, Then I get a txt from my job saying,
“Everyone be at the job at 7am tomorrow morning, if you don’t show then your taken off the schedule indefinitely”
I’m thinking, ‘dang what’s this about, last time I got an ultimatum was when someone lost some narcotics. That day the DEA showed up and everyone had to be drug tested’.
As I head into the building, I show up at 650am, the roads on the way in were like a ghost town, completely empty as there was a curfew in effect. I pulled up along with everyone else that worked there and saw an army!! I had never seen our parking lot be so full except at Halloween when we would do a fair for the kids.
But, No really, it was The Army, Reserves! Around 20 serviceman in uniform waiting for what I assumed was us. I’m sure the look on my face was priceless, some were in hazmat suits. Yes, yes, just like you see in the movies. All white with oxygen fed mask. Some looked like astronauts. They made us fill out a form then wait in line. One very tall looking man spoke in a matter of fact way, “ok folks you guys are getting Covid tested, fill out the form, and hand it to the serviceman when you come up, you will sit in one of the white chairs, and get swabbed, then exit and return to your car and/or either go home or return to work. Please do not stay around if your not working”.
So that was my first covid test. I march thru the line got my covid test and returned home, I was told later that everyone was negative. The servicemen also tested the entire building in under 30 mins , kinda a miracle really considering we had over 100 patients then plus around 40 employees. So that was the start of my covid experience.
You know we didn’t get tested again for 5 months, even after we had covid positive patients in the building. Funny they were so concerned about testing negative that, they had no clue what to do if the whole building was positive, so they just didn’t test us…
Now we are tested 4 times a week. Everytime I look up someone at work is trying to shove something up my nose.
Part of round one. If you weren’t aware, all of our patients were put under strick orders to not leave their rooms. If they did leave the room they had to have a mask. We, the employees, were under strick orders too. We had to wear Goggle’s, a mask, a face shield, and a gown but our gowns were made of trash bag material, it was like wearing a sona around your neck.
Can you imagine wearing a trash bag around your clothes all day at work? Also, you couldn’t see anything because the goggle’s fogged up most of the time. I mean try to start an IV with all that on; it was unbearable and uncomfortable. I was usually drinched in sweat by the time a quarter of my shift was over. My partner that I was with at the time wouldn’t let me in the house with anything on, she didn’t want to catch anything and I didn’t want to give her anything, so I came into our back yard, undressed, ran into the house by way of the back door, then to the shower and my partner took care of my clothes. It was an ordeal.
I also hope my neighbors didn’t take offense. My partner turned my back porch into an outside room using sheets. I would derob in the sheet room so I wouldn’t really give my neighbors a show. It was so much fun during the winter months. Talk about mooning someone.
HOW IT STARTED:
So I got ready for work, just like any day that I get ready, but when I showed up the upper management where there at the building. I have never seen anyone from these offices be at the facility this late at night. As I was working the graveyard shift, I show up and they meet me at the door with a thermometer and a half smile. They said well folks we have it in the building. We have 2 halls that are covid positive and one that we are calling presumptive hall and one negative hall. As I walked in it was like another world, everywhere you looked there were large heavy duty plastic zipper walls now blocking your view. You couldn’t see down any hall it was blocked and strangely very quiet.
Now behind each zipper wall was another zipper wall making a small room in the hallway that we used to remove dirty PPE, YES the goggle’s, the mask, the face shield, the gown [or garbage bad] and replace the PPE with new clean replacements. It took maybe five minutes to change it all out. The administration said, ‘well we have 15 ppl positive and 30 presumptive and we loss 4 today. ‘
One of our very first patients that contracted Covid-19 wasn’t very old and was in her 50s, and I had never seen something take hold of someone and ravage their body so fast. A few hours and she was gone. Now again I want to say that our patients were not allowed outside their rooms, they were not allowed visitors, we were only letting in essential workers, that means that not even some of our employees were allowed in the building.
No family, No church members, No friends or neighbors. For all intensive purposes we were their family, their friends, their church member’s, their neighbors, for almost a year. We were more than that…..we were a family…. we were their shoulder to cry on.. we were someone to gripe at. ..someone to complain to…and vice versa. Just because the staff members weren’t allowed to leave the building didn’t mean we were normal outside the building. Once someone knew or found out that you worked in the medical field, people avoided you at all cost.
My partner at the time changed bedrooms, we barely saw each other, my children didn’t see me for almost a year. Just because we were working didn’t mean we didn’t suffer also. I lost a lot that year, after Covid I lost my partner of almost eight years. My kids barley speak to me now, they say that I put strangers before them. So this is another reason I’m writing about what happened. Now I wouldn’t change my career for anything. I love being a nurse. I love being someone that can be there for someone else in their time of need. It’s my calling. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
So if the patients weren’t allowed outside their rooms, who do you think brought the covid into the building??
You guess it.. the staff…let that sink in..we were there to help our patients but we were the cause….
ALL NAMES ON THIS PAGE OR ANY PAGE ASSOCIATED WITH THATNURSEPATTY.COM OR CALLMENURSEPATTY.HOME.BLOG HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF THOSE INVOLVED.