While Alabama’s leaders are figuring out a plan to reopen the economy, medical professionals across the nation are traveling to the hardest hit areas in New York to help take care of coronavirus patients.
Some nurses from Selma are taking part.
“Since I’ve gotten here, I know I’m supposed to be here. These people need help really bad,” nurse Theresa Terry said.
Terry is one of three Selma nurses who are now in Brooklyn, New York. She joined Matie Knight and Lesia Eddins with an opportunity to work in an overwhelmed and understaffed Brooklyn hospital that is seeing dozens of coronavirus patients.
“Everybody has increased their capacity but not their staff. It’s just not there. And the ones that are there, they’ve had a lot get sick,” Terry said.
The nurses will be working at least twelve hours per shift, with little to no opportunities for breaks.
Nurse Lesia Eddins says despite knowing what she’s getting into, she feels secure and energized to get started.
“We are very well prepared. We knew what to expect before we came up here. We’ve been dealing with it at the hospital we were working at,” Eddins said.
The nurses say they’re getting a first hand look at just how bad the virus spread can be when people don’t follow health and safety guidelines.
“A lot of individuals having symptoms and not coming to the hospitals. A lot of people are still not doing the social distancing,” Eddins said.
“After being up here, I think we’ve gotten a new appreciation of how bad it actually can be if you don’t take precautions. It’s overwhelming,” Terry said.
The three nurses will be in New York for eight weeks working before going through a two week quarantine.
Then, they can make the return trip home to their families.
The agency the nurses are contracted with is expected to help them find jobs once they return home to Alabama.