Thousands of nurses have been working in outdoor Covid-19 tents, containing patients testing positive for the virus, for longer than seventeen months.
For more than 55 years, the Queen of the Valley hospital has been serving patients in more than twenty-six locations. As Covid-19 hit, hospital staff set up multiple “covid tents” around their facilities to accommodate a large amount of patients. Nurses tried their best to keep Covid-19 patients alive as their symptoms worsened.
Stacy Mehta, a professional nurse at Queen of the Valley who has been working there for ten years, said in an interview with the Matador Messenger, “It was exhausting. Physically having to gown and mask a certain way to protect yourself, and emotionally because I felt sorry for the patients I took care of that were so sick and scared and alone.”
Each nurse was assigned four to five different patients, with four nurses in each tent. With a very busy hospital and a lot of patients, Mehta reports that the workload is very overwhelming. “The hardest part was seeing patients sick and scared. The hospital did not allow visitors…so patients were alone. The hospital was very busy and I couldn’t spend as much time comforting them as I wanted,” she said in an interview with the Matador Messenger.
Nurses have to dress in the proper gear such as N95 masks and “bunny suits” to protect themselves and their families. Mehta says, “I was worried when I got home if I exposed myself or my family to Covid.”
Since the tents are filled with sick patients, families are not allowed to say goodbye to their family members after the patients get admitted. Nurses around the world work tirelessly for hours on end to reunite these sick patients with their families and friends. While it’s hard to spend so little time comforting patients, our faithful nurses and doctors pay the price to save countless lives.