By: Lani Hansen, Senior Reporter
YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio– Muscogee (Creek) citizen Chasilee Crawford is an ICU nurse working in the COVID-19 unit at Springfield Regional Medical Center.
After a day of working on the COVID unit floor, she went to Facebook and shared a post about her life working with COVID patients and how they are fighting for their lives. She had described it as sadness, weariness and frustration according to a Yellow Springs news article.
In her post she has said, ‘I had two patients, one younger than me and one only a few years older. Both fighting for their lives from the coronavirus,’ the post went on. ‘I thought I was going to lose my young patient yesterday after we intubated her. But between the respiratory therapists and my coworkers, we managed to prone her immediately and she survived. I spent the rest of the day stabilizing her.’
She had continued in the post explaining before they intubated the patient, that the husband called begging to see his wife not knowing if she was going to make it. The best she could do was FaceTime or zoom call. Throughout that day she could hear codes, helicopters in the air and her coworkers running the halls. At the end of that day she sat down and was able to say a prayer for her patients, coworkers and everyone affected by the virus.
“I actually made this post right before work the next morning,” Crawford said. “I told others that it was just another one of those hard days, just seems like we’ve had a lot of those lately.”
They have patients who are much younger than Crawford, and she is caring for them and helping them fight for their lives. This virus that has brought in so many patients has taken a mental and physical toll on Crawford and her colleagues. There are days she goes home and cries, wondering if she is doing the right thing for her patients.
With the restrictions hospitals have for not allowing families to come in, the nurses are the ones who are holding a patients hand who is on a ventilator and telling them to fight.
“It is so hard and mentally exhausting, because again sometimes I go home and cry,” Crawford said. “It has been day after day since March.”
At Springfield Regional Medical Center they have eight designated ICU rooms. Crawford said since the second wave of COVID hit, they had to make shift the step-down beds for ICU rooms. They had to double their ICU beds since the virus. At one time, Crawford said they had up to 18 patients on ventilators at one time.
“We seen more COVID patients during the fall,” Crawford said. “My hospital is talking about adding a third COVID unit.”
With so many COVID patients coming in and also working in the COVID unit, Crawford must wear appropriate gear. She wears a N95-style face mask and a paper mask over it, a surgical gown, surgical cap to cover her hair, goggles or a face shield. She is suited up in this for at least 12 hours a day.
After work she takes her gear off, her ID badge, phone and anything else that might have been exposed throughout her shift and places them in the ultraviolet oven which will destroy the germs. They have a “clean room” where Crawford and her colleagues wipe their shoes down with bleach, scrub their hands with antibacterial wipes and many take showers.
Before leaving to go home Crawford puts on clean clothes and shoes. Sometimes when she gets home, she will take her shower at home instead of the hospital leaving her clothes from the hospital in her garage.
Crawford added, ”Frontline workers are working everyday making sure patients are being cared for and families are making sure we are doing the best we can. I couldn’t do this without my coworkers. We have some really special nurses that I work with and we have all been working hard. Nurses and healthcare workers deserve to be recognized for all their efforts.”