COVID-19 Changes Job for Nurses in Nebraska
By Brandon McDermott, NET News
April 30, 2020, 11:27 a.m. ·
The coronavirus has closed businesses and schools across Nebraska. It’s also changed the way nurses do their jobs.
Brianna Beam is a nurse at Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings. She works with expectant mothers and in the neonatal intensive care unit. She said before the pandemic, nurses could check on patients every two minutes if needed, but not anymore.
“It’s eye opening,” Beam said. “Those people are in there by themselves. They could be in dire need but we still have to take care of ourselves as well. There really is no emergency when you're going into a COVID room.”
Beam said the extra precautions have completely shifted what nurses have to do and guidelines change nearly every day. She said personal protective equipment sometimes gets in the way.
“Communication is really hard when all you can see is someone’s eyes, you have to talk really loud and sometimes you don't realize if you're talking loud enough or not,” Beam said. “Your ears are even covered by the mask and then with the shield and everything you have on – it gets really, really hot, which sometimes causes anxiety.”
Beam said she’s worked with one expectant mother with COVID-19 as a nurse and the experience was difficult for both the patient and her.
And by way of full disclosure, Mary Lanning Healthcare is a supporter of NET.