Thank a nurse and recognize them for their work in our healthcare system as this week is National Nurses Week. Washington County Hospital and Clinics has implemented changes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic from restricting visitors to opening a respiratory triage clinic in mid-March. Chief Nursing Officer Andrea Leyden with WCHC says that nurses locally have been on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, “Our nurses are trained to float between clinical areas. This is extremely important, especially when we began seeing COVID-19 come to Washington County. We were able to deploy our nurses to areas of need because of their clinical knowledge. When we placed visitor restrictions throughout our facility, our nurses had to find a balance between clinical care and emotional support. Without loved ones being able to visit our nurses became patient and resident caregivers, and also their bedside family.”

She adds that they’ve gone above and beyond normal duties to help during the pandemic, “In the past four weeks our nurses had to change. There are things that I’ve seen them do, just extraordinary things for our patients and our residents. They’ve actually rearranged patient rooms so they can have their beds turned and face the windows so they could talk to family members through the glass. They also stayed past their shifts to sit with patients and hold their hands just so they didn’t feel alone because family couldn’t be at the bedside. My nurses have volunteered to work in areas with COVID patients and basically they just tell me, ‘This is what we signed up for. We’re nurses. We take care of our patients.’”

Leyden encourages community members to take the time to thank nurses for their work, especially this week.