Reflections on Covid-19 and nursing: Debbie Crosby

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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, life has changed for everyone — perhaps for health care professionals more than anyone.

Debbie Crosby, a post-operative nurse at Colleton Medical Center, recently shared her thoughts on the pandemic and how it affected her personally.

When you first heard about Covid-19, what were your thoughts?

When I first heard about COVID-19, I didn’t realize just how much of an impact it would have on my life. I knew it was serious, but I didn’t realize just how much my life was about to change.

Did you think it would come here to Colleton?

I knew it would come to Colleton, and I felt like Colleton Medical Center was making preparations for when it did come. Administration told us we needed to be prepared to possibly stay in-house for 14 days if needed. I went home and packed a bag of everything I felt would be necessary for a 14-day stay and put it in my trunk.

How did your job change because of the virus?

I work in the recovery room at CMC and all elective cases were postponed. My job is to recover the patients after surgery, so I was no longer needed in my current position. The hospital didn’t waste any time finding other places for me and my coworkers to work. Since all this began, I have worked ICU, Rehab, PPE/CZAR, greeter/screener …. You never know what department you may see me in from day to day. I am thankful to have a job and am willing to do what is necessary.

What concerns did you have about working as a nurse during the pandemic?

To be honest it’s a little scary being around COVID-19, but not for myself …. thinking about my family and others. We come in contact with so many people every day and all I could think was “What if I am a carrier, and I spread this to people!” Any time we have had anyone suspected of COVID-19, we have had the proper PPE supplies to protect ourselves, and we pray that is enough to protect us and keep us from spreading it to someone else.

What concerns did you have for your family and did you interact with them during the quarantine?

My husband, daughter and I have found things to occupy ourselves at home. We throw the frisbee, play ping pong and walk around the yard/neighborhood. I am very active with my entire family, but COVID-19 changed that. My mom cooks Sunday dinner every Sunday for whole family and she continued to do so; but of course my husband, daughter and I have not been going. This past Sunday (Mother’s Day) is the first time we have visited my mom and dad since this began. My brother and sister did call me a few times with a conference call so we could all catch up. This has been very hard for me. I just want to hug them so tight, but I can’t!

How has the virus impacted the entire hospital?

It has been really hard for everyone in the hospital. The nurses are stressed because they want to take care of the patients, but they don’t want to spread the virus to their families. The patients have been stressed because no visitors have been allowed and that is really hard on them to be alone with no family present. The staff have tried to fill that void for them, but the patients miss their family members.

In what way do you think life has changed for everyone due to the pandemic?

This pandemic has changed life. I am not sure people will ever go back to the normal we once knew. Hugging each other and hand shaking may be a thing of the past. I have always been a hugger and now my whole thought process has changed. I see someone and my mind is already telling me, “Social distancing, six feet apart.” I touch things and am immediately looking for my hand sanitizer or a sink to wash my hands. Who knows? …. maybe if everyone is thinking like this, we may have a lot less illness in the world!

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