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Allison Stieler is a Nurse at Saint Thomas - Rutherford Hospital.


“Work is far scarier than ever before. Of course, one is never quite sure what exposures are coming when entering the hospital, but I’m more scared than ever about passing this lethal virus to unaffected patients. I know I have been exposed to positive patients and others, but I have not tested positive or exhibited any symptoms, so I need to keep working. I’m nervous that I could contract it and become quite sick or infect another with a serious strain.

We are enacting as many preventative measures as we can. This entails limiting exposures for our patients by restricting who can enter the hospital. It’s heart-breaking not letting family visit their loved ones, but it has to be done in this crisis. I find myself apologizing to patients all the time for the isolation and uncertainty they endure.

Since supplies are low, I am limited to one droplet mask per shift, and I am just to use the mask in COVID rule outs or diagnosed COVID patients. We don’t use masks in any other rooms since there are not enough, so that leads to additional problems too. Since N95 masks are in such demand, they are locked in the charge nurse station, and we have to ask permission to use them. I have had to care for COVID rule out patients without an N95 mask because of the shortage, which is certainly worrisome.

That being said, I am committed to helping those who need it most, and I look forward to continue serving whomever becomes afflicted with this nasty bug. The attitudes of nurses and patients alike make me hopeful. We truly have come together in a common effort to fight this thing. The patients’ mindsets are so inspiring as well. Every day I learn something valuable from them.”