All over the world, medical professionals are stepping forward to serve in this pandemic crisis, despite the danger to themselves. One of them, BRITTANY SIMS, has this description of what’s it’s like on the front lines.
“12-hour nights of being hot, hard to breathe, and getting headaches from re-breathing your own CO2 . . . I’m all about action and doing the best bedside and emergency nursing I know how . . . Sometimes I get an OK assignment and sometimes we’re intubating and coding crashing patients back-to-back all night long. Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way . . ..”
Sims works in New York’s Brooklyn Hospital. She left her home and family in Illinois and borrowed money for a plane ticket to New York when she saw the reports of the city’s huge burden of COVID cases. From Day One, it hasn’t been easy.
“This assignment is not for every nurse. Three in my group went home after the first day. . . . ER overload catastrophe nursing at its best. These hospitals here are overpopulated and understaffed. This is a crisis.”
According to her mother, Sims has always had “a heart of gold.” Sims communicates with her mother and her daughters every day, calling from the hotel where she lives with hundreds of other nurses. (Two grandmothers split the child-care duties.) But even with imaging, phone calls are no substitute for being able to hold your kids and comfort them.
The calls are at the end of her long hours of trying to save lives, sometimes failing, risking her own life in the process.
Her mother says, “She thinks she can save the world.” She’s certainly trying.