A registered nurse from San Diego has traveled to a coronavirus hotspot hospital outside of Chicago to help with the influx of COVID-19 patients.
Analise Eastman went to Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Illinois, where the county is dealing with eight times the number of cases than in San Diego.
"This was a crisis response position, so they were really needing somebody to respond to the crisis," Eastman said.
And it hasn’t been easy.
Twelve-hour shifts on the COVID floor, often going home with a bruised face from the N95 masks. But it's a small price to pay to work with patients who are dealing with isolation, Eastman said.
"They’re not actually allowing family members in the hospital at all, so it makes it a sad place, honestly. I think that’s where some of the most heartbreaking moments have been," Eastman said.
A COVID-19 reality--people are dying alone. Sometimes only saying goodbye through technology.
"I’ve been trying to advocate for us to use it (technology) because it makes sense to use it when they’re alert and can see their family and giving them a potential goodbye," Eastman said.
As hard as that can be, Eastman said there are good days when a patient recovers and gets to go home.
Like Rufus Fisher, a 72-year-old veteran and COVID-19 survivor who was cheered on his way out of the hospital by a group of nurses.
"We line up and cheer for them. We play the rocky theme song over the intercom which is the only thing I’ve been sharing with everyone because I think it’s really cool that we're really celebrating patients getting better," Eastman said. "They are going home and they’ve beaten this horrible virus."
Eastman is one of 6,531 nurses who has been sent to COVID hotspots across the country by AYA Healthcare, a travel nursing company a crisis response initiative.