‘We’re all in this together’: Myrtle Beach woman responds to call for nurses in N.Y.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - In late March, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put out an immediate and nationwide call for nurses and doctors to help the state care for coronavirus patients.
Eve Wright had been living in Myrtle Beach and when she heard Cuomo’s request, she knew she had to help.
“For me it was a Thursday night. I made the call to the staffing agency and I left the next day,” Wright said.
Before the pandemic, Wright was working as a rapid response nurse in Myrtle Beach. Since being in New York City, she’s been working in crisis nursing in an intensive care unit that was formally a post-anesthesia care unit.
Because of the intense need, Wright said the state of New York decided to honor licenses from other states for qualified health care professionals.
“Nurses are called,” Wright said, reflecting on why she got into the profession in the first place.
Wright added the minute they got there, they started working to treat patients.
“First day we signed in, got settled. The second day we were working on assignments," Wright said.
Wright and other nurses had to adjust to the intense needs of working in the epicenter of the pandemic.
“I was working on a med-surge unit that had ventilator patients on it,” Wright said.
“You go in, and you don’t know what you’re walking into. You don’t know what supplies you’ve got, who you’ve got to work with, what’s your patient’s history, or anything like that. You gather the information and take action at the same time," Wright said.
Wright knows she took on both huge risks and responsibility by responding to this call.
“We are nurses and we’re all in this together. Why should New York nurses have to deal with this alone? Why should they have to bear this burden alone?" Wright said.
She added when it comes down to it, it’s about trying to save lives. Wright noted that when you help nurses, you in turn help the patients.
“Their nurses were overworked, they were getting sick,” Wright said.
At one point, Wright worked 17 consecutive shifts.
Wright said it has been difficult, noting they are having to reuse single-use personal protective equipment.
“That’s been the biggest struggle. PPE normally is single-use. So you’d put a mask on, go into a patient room, do whatever care that needs to be done in that room, and when you come out of that room, you would discard that mask into the trash can. We’re now asked to wear these masks for five shifts, 12-hour shifts, five of them," Wright said.
She says it’s been hard to not be able to save everyone.
“We’ve been the ones to hold their hands when their family can’t be there," Wright notes.
Wright said it has been hard to be apart from her 8-year-old daughter. To keep in touch, she’s been sending photos back of her with a stuffed toy mouse.
Wright wants people back home to know she thinks social distancing is key, and we can continue to make sacrifices to keep the pandemic from spreading.
Although it’s been extremely difficult, Wright believes it was her time to give back.
“It’s New York City and it’s not my home. But if it were Myrtle Beach, I could not imagine someone not coming to our aide," Wright said. "It’s not our turn to need help, but it’s our turn to give help.”
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