Savannah ICU nurses share their experience caring for COVID-19 patients

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)— Healthcare professionals in our area are working tirelessly to fight COVID-19. In honor of International Nurses Day, NOW reporter Claire Going spoke with caretakers about how they’re coping through the pandemic.

“I can definitely remember when things started to ramp up,” Clinical ICU Nurse Educator Sara Reeves said. “And there was really kind of a fear of the unknown.”

Sara Reeves is a nurse at Candler Hospital. She says working through the coronavirus pandemic has been a major adjustment for her and her colleagues.

“It’s always stressful. People have been sick for a very, very long time,” Reeves said. “So we’ve gotten pretty good at learning to deal with it and help decrease that stress for the families. But it’s definitely shocking to see so many sick people.”

Amber Schieber, a nurse manager in the ICU at Memorial Health, says working through the pandemic isn’t like anything she’s experienced before in all her years working in healthcare.

“There are definitely some days when you come out of the room and you’re sweaty and you take your isolation gear off. It’s demanding,” Schieber said.

The nurses say protecting their families is a major concern. They don’t know anyone personally who are living away from their homes, but they both have routines at the end of their shift to keep their families safe and decompress at the end of a long, stressful day.

“They know that mommy’s at work taking care of these sick patients and leading this wonderful team through this pandemic,” Schieber said. “And when I come home, I try to unwind and enjoy time with family.”

The nurses say the gratitude they feel coming from across the nation goes a long way.

“I like for them to know you are rockstars you are heroes. To have someone call you that, I think it feels amazing,” Schieber said. “We’ve definitely had those moments where we’ve had patients thank us and break down in tears and of course it invokes the same thing in the nurses.”

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