Community Heroes: Local hospital nurses, powering through the pandemic

Community Heroes

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — This week’s Community Hero is actually a group that is committed to keeping their game faces on, despite long hours and a lot of skepticism.

“They are emotionally, emotionally drained,” said Morgan May, chief nursing officer Morgan May says of the nursing staff.

Working at any hospital right now is draining, both physically and mentally, and May says it’s taking a toll.

“The thing I’m most scared about are the team members to take care of the patients,” May said.

Not only are hospitals short-staffed, the patients who are there require a lot of care. Veteran nurse Tiffany Hodge says despite their own burnout, nurses and staff members are giving what they have left to the families who are suffering, and to each other.

“I see the pain that they go through,” Hodge said. “And I know they carry things home. What keeps me going is being able to give them what they need whenever I can .”

Nurse Micah Redden agrees.

“It doesn’t make it any easier,” Redden said. “Nothing changed. We’re just a year further. We were doing everything we could then. We’re still doing everything we can now.”

Still, the long hours, and emotional stress are tough to take. Even outside of work, it’s difficult for medical staff to hear those who aren’t supportive, or believe COVID is a hoax. Hospital staff members see that it is very real, and they see it every day.

“I’m worried about my nurses,” Hodge said. “I’m worried they’re going to get tired. That they’ll get emotionally frustrated. I see it in their face.”

A determined group of people, focusing on what is important: their patients.

“They give emotionally in 12 hours and more sometimes than anyone can imagine,” May said.

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