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Part 1: The COVID pandemic from a nurse’s point of view

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 11:54 AM EDT
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CARIBOU, Maine (WAGM) - COVID has impacted everyone’s life one way or another, but arguably lives and work of medical staff have changed the most. Even entering a hospital has new procedure

“Little did I know it would literally consume my entire position and my entire field,” said Kacey Soucy, in-patient nurse manager at Cary Medical Center.

Soucy began her management position in January after 7 years as a registered nurse. She says she never expected COVID to reach the County, let alone reach the levels it has.

“When this pandemic started we had a shortage of PPE and were reprocessing N95s. As a manager having to roll that out to my staff, I had a really hard time with that,” said Soucy.

Like many medical professionals, Soucy felt the impacts outside of work.

“I have a three-year-old son at home. I have a husband I go home to every night. I have a niece who’s fighting cancer right now, she’s four years old, and I was terrified... That’s not normal for a three year old to not be able to greet their parent when she gets home.”

Both Soucy and her colleague Kristen Babin, a nurse at Cary, change clothes and shower at the hospital before stepping foot in their home. Putting on layers of protection has become a constant.

“I remember it wasn’t about going in and taking care of the patient but it was about donning appropriately,” said Babin about the beginning of the pandemic.

The protective barriers don’t stop at clothing. Staff limits their exposure to patients by grouping their interactions, like doing assessments and giving medications in the same visit.

“They’re in the ICU, they’re secluded, their family members are not coming to see them,” said Babin. “We don’t come in the room often unless we have to and they’re scared and they’re alone for the most part, apart from having the nurse or doctor who comes in a couple times a shift. And their family is constantly calling and checking but the patient can’t talk on the phone because their oxygenation is too poor or they have a mask on and they can’t understand them, or they’re too fatigued. It’s just been sad. I feel sad a lot of the time for these patients and their families. They think we’re just doing our job and we leave here, but I can’t tell you how many times I left here after having COVID patients that I cried on my way home because we feel for them.”

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