Talk about on the job training, Hailee Stull became a registered nurse less than a year ago. Now, she finds herself working on the frontlines of a worldwide pandemic.
“I never imagined something like this would happen in my lifetime, much less my first year on the job.”
Stull works in the Emergency Department at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center. She says it has been amazing to watch her team rise to the challenge. “Policies and procedures for the COVID-19 situation have been frequently changing since the beginning of the outbreak. We’re dealing with changes sometimes from shift to shift and doing our best to keep up and stay informed.”
She adds, “I’ve watched my coworkers adapt and thrive with every change thrown our way. It has been fascinating to watch and experience the creativity, teamwork and generosity on full display.”
Stull says patients and visitors have been impacted by the ever-changing environment as well. “They’ve had to deal with visitor restrictions, symptom screenings at every entrance and waiting in their cars to be seen. This crisis has proven to me just how resilient we all can be.”
But she admits caring for coronavirus patients on top of other emergencies can be a juggling act. “My role as an ER nurse is to not only care for COVID-19 patients, but to also care for other emergent patients. People are still breaking bones and having strokes. Those things don’t stop just because of a virus.”
Stull’s sense of duty helps her push past the fear. “Dealing with the unknown is always scary. I have seen what this virus has the capability to do to people. It is frightening to put myself in direct contact with this virus,” she reveals.
“However, as a nurse this isn’t the only frightening disease I am in contact with. I do the best I can to protect myself while caring for my patients.”
Stull says she has always wanted to be a nurse and nothing, not even a pandemic, can change that. “I have always been a caregiver at heart and always will be –
long after this pandemic is a thing of the past.”