“Big Texas love spread throughout New York”: A day in the life of a nurse in New York

We have been following the journals of Devine graduate Shauna Davis for weeks, which has documented some of the shocking things that became a reality during this pandemic in places like New York. Thankfully, things seem to be getting much better, and here’s some of her thoughts from the past few days. Texas was never hit as hard as some predicted, but other places like New York were, and stories of those on the front lines have certainly been an eye opener to the devastation caused by this pandemic in other parts of the US.

With all the packages and goodies that friends, family, and community members have sent, “Big Texas love is being spread all throughout New York,” Davis said. “I am just so proud and blessed that you guys are giving me the opportunity to be able to do that. So thank you and thank you for your continued to support.”

Day 16 of 21

We’re getting there. Amazing.

“Let’s see today was a good day…. I started off with a patient and ended my shift with that same patient, awesome.

The hospital is starting to get back into the normal swing of things and trying to get situated. There’s on a daily basis, just from our group there was, I don’t know 90 to 100 of us at just one facility. That’s including the night shift. So they’re trying to kind of rearrange, reorganize, and see where we’re best needed.

So it’s just one of those things and they’re starting to, get back to their ratios and they’re able to close some of the units and that’s good. Meaning people are not requiring – like it’s not as overloaded. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still busy and they are still full, but they’re able to close down some of the makeshift units and transition those patients back into the regular units where they should be. That doesn’t mean they’re closing all of them.

I will finish and complete my 21 days for sure. I signed up for an extension . We’ll just see where else I am needed and how many people are leaving. We have quite a few going home.

Like I said, today was a good day. We did not have any codes on our side of the unit. That’s outstanding. That doesn’t get said a lot. I’m not saying they didn’t have any throughout the hospital. We just did not have them on our side. So that was really, really good.

People are being able to come in and get tested, and then are going home, quarantining themselves,  remaining on quarantine because of course, they’re not opened back up yet…With that being said, even in the ER they’re testing them and then sending them home if they’re not severe. I don’t know if that’s at all hospitals.

I’m still learning meds. I’m learning their blood transfusion process is a little different than ours in Texas.

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Patients were really great today. Awesome. Doing well, we’re making the turn, we’re making the turn to the positive side where they will go to a step down unit. And we’re seeing more of that this week than I saw last week.

New York and the nurses and the healthcare staff here have been amazing…..Things get handed to them and thrown at them, and then they make changes and what works and they adjust that or this if it isn’t working. So we need to change that, tweak that, but it’s literally been around maybe 60 days, 70 days since this first initially, just went everywhere.

I’m very appreciative of the staff, the nurses and the way they work, and they work very well together at this facility….I appreciate that they take the doctors that are here now and the nurses’ input. And they ask us, that’s great because, you know, we have the patients all day, so it’s good.

Everybody loved the snacks that ya’ll have been sending. I took all the masks that ya’ll sent today passed them out to all my people my bus. Thank you, Nicole and Karen…. You’d be surprised how happy people are over a mask. It was wonderful. Everybody was super excited.

Today I got Deanna Holcomb’s package. A whole bunch of stuff in there shampoo, lotion, you name it– it’s in there,  trash bags, toothpaste, everything great toiletry and snacks….

Paula, got yours. And as soon as I opened the box, I smelled sweet, I smelled sugar. So I know you’ve got some goodies in there you baked you told me you were sending…. I think MICU loves it. They’re like “Texas is awesome.”

What am I doing this is so out of my element, out of my comfort zone…..and as confident as I am, and as bold as I am, there’s things I don’t know.  I will be the first to admit that. I don’t want to hurt a patient so I make sure I’m doing it right and make sure that it’s given the right way and that I’m watching for the right things.

Again. Thank you to all y’all. Oh, TracyWilkerson has been reaching out to us. Myself and another nurse from Texas that is here, Stepfani, I believe. I want to say thank you to her for that because she’s doing it through one of her foundations. ”

Day 17 of 21

The units are being merged so next week I will have a new assignment. Then at the end of next week or the following week they’ll assign me probably somewhere else.

I had a great day today.  My patient that I had yesterday was there today, he got downgraded. So he didn’t require critical care. So, that was awesome.

I got a new patient. COVID patient. A 15 liters an hour breather, still sitting at 90. I think that’s why he will be on our unit, just to monitor him a little bit better….

We have a couple of newer nurses so we got to help them figure a few things out. I started some IVs, which you know that’s what I like to do, and the doctors now are aware of that.

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Today was actually a pretty good day. Everybody loves all the treats. With that being said, they know that my last day is next week with their facility so they’re super sad. And I think they’re more sad because of the treats I bring.  All the stuff you guys send, I share it here at the hotel and with the patients, if they can have it, and the staff.

Paula’s peanut brittle was the talk of the unit, and the other units, and the doctors came in and had some, the residents. They loved it…

Today they opened up some of the streets here and there was more traffic. This evening, a lot more traffic, more than we have seen the whole time we’ve been here!

Some people were asking about my license because I’m not licensed here in New York. But because there is leniency, that does not apply right now. And as we get closer to May 16, it will probably be extended because there’s thousands. We’re not the only, only agency here working. There are several other agencies here as well. And that includes EMTs, respiratory therapists, nurses, nurse practitioners, and doctors. All of them are here. We don’t have a licensed to practice here in the state, but because of the emergency that was waived. It was waived for a lot of states, not just New York.

The trending thing I see on our unit is when we try to help these stations and give dialysis, it does not go well and it has to be stopped very shortly, which is sad because you’re fighting a battle-  they really do need dialysis but their blood pressure is already low, and we already have seven drips hanging and it’s just not a good combination. It’s just really not. So we’ll see. People were getting dialysis, they just started it when we left, so hopefully they got a little bit further than they did a couple of days ago.

I got some more care packages last night, amazing. I’m going to take some things and pass them out tomorrow.

I appreciate all the love all of the everything you guys were sending. Every morning I get up and you guys have already sent me messages about good luck to you and have a great day and I appreciate it because it really means a lot. Yesterday was a little rough, I woke up today with a better, different attitude, and just like, ‘I got this.’

Tomorrow I will be off and I will try to get some pictures of the city and see if it’s busier so you guys can see how the streets were empty, until now. And then, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday back to the grind of things to finish out the first 21 days.