Global Statistics

All countries
240,188,856
Confirmed
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
All countries
215,765,598
Recovered
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
All countries
4,893,161
Deaths
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
Saturday, October 16, 2021

Global Statistics

All countries
240,188,856
Confirmed
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
All countries
215,765,598
Recovered
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
All countries
4,893,161
Deaths
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
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From left, nurse Brittany Donaway, Associate Vice President of Critical Care Carrie Ogilvie and Chief Nurse Executive April Novotny lead a tour of Lakeland Regional Health's intensive care unit recently. “I’m so proud of the work that everyone is doing," Novotny said. But "it can be ... a little disheartening to see the toll that it's taking on people."

LAKELAND — Carrie D’Amato has no plans to leave the nursing profession, as so many others have, battered by the relentless strain of a pandemic seemingly without end.

But D’Amato, a registered nurse with the rapid response team at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, doesn’t try to deny the impact the COVID-19 era has had on her and other nurses.

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“Tired — I think that’s the overwhelming feeling,” said D’Amato, 36. “It’s psychological. It’s mental. It’s emotional. And it came about without any warning, and so you’re moving through life and this hits and the first wave you really don’t know what to do yet; we’re all learning together. Here the second wave has come — or, really, what wave is it? I forget what wave we’re on. I feel like we’re drowning sometimes in all the waves.”

While nurses and other medical workers were hailed as heroes early in the pandemic, national reports have emerged of nurses carrying panic alarms or avoiding being seen in public wearing scrubs amid misinformation about vaccines and angry questions about treatment for the disease.

April Novotny, chief nurse executive and vice president of clinical services, talks about COVID care at Lakeland Regional Health. "It can be frustrating to see some of the doubts and questioning, but I think we collectively just kind of put our heads down and we look at what we can control right in front of us.”

April Novotny, chief nurse executive and vice president of clinical services, said she hasn’t heard of any of her staff enduring such abuse. But she said the overall burden of the pandemic has worn on everyone.

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“It is an odd mix of emotions,” Novotny said, sitting in a conference room with two colleagues before a recent tour of the medical intensive care unit. “I’m so proud of the work that everyone is doing, but at the same time it can be frustrating and it can be, as you (D’Agostino) said, a little disheartening to see the toll that it’s taking on people. I mean, you can walk the halls and you can see it on people’s faces.”

Nurses describe wrenching experiences of patients with COVID-19

D’Agostino and her colleagues recalled some of the most wrenching experiences they have had since spring of 2020. They mentioned the many examples of couples hospitalized with COVID-19 at the same time.

Nurse Sara Slayton checks the vitals on a patient in the Intensive Care Unit at Lakeland Regional Health.

“I brought a woman who was doing OK to the bedside of her husband, who was in an end-of-life situation, and then we brought her back and left her to be alone,” D’Amato said. “That’s the other part of this that I don’t think people understand is how isolated and how alone the patients are.”

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