Dozens of Utah nurses travel to Florida to help victims of Irma

Posted at 9:33 PM, Sep 13, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah nurses are rushing to answer the call for more medical help in Florida.

Dozens of volunteers put their lives on hold to fly across the country and help the victims of Irma.

“We don't know what a hurricane is like, but I think Utah knows how to serve so that's what we want to do,” said Shawna Crane, a registered Nurse at Ogden Regional Hospital.

Shawna and a handful of other nurses jumped at the chance to help Hurricane Harvey victims, but when they weren’t needed in Texas the group made their way to Florida to help with the emergency response to Irma.

“I felt compelled, honestly, just compelled to do what I can do, use the knowledge that I have to help in any way that I can,” Crane said.

She’s one of the dozens of Utah nurses spread throughout hospitals in Florida.

As victims of Hurricane Irma continue to come into the hospitals, Crane will be working 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

“They're having us work five, 12-hour shifts a week, and we're going to be here a minimum of two weeks,” Crane said.

The devastation of the hurricane is crowding hospitals.

“They're just putting people wherever they can put them,” Crane said.

It's a similar scene at nearby hospitals, where other Utah nurses are working long hours.

“I'm on my fifth day in a row working a 12-hour shift,” said Denise Scott, a registered nurse at Timpanogos Regional Hospital.

Scott was in a Florida hospital when Hurricane Irma tore through the state. But it wasn't until after the storm left that patients came flooding in.

“Each day has just got progressively more and more busy,” Scott said.

These women are proof nursing is a work of heart.

“It's just a good warm feeling to know that you're helping,” Scott said.

The nurses will be there for a minimum of two weeks but say they’re happy to stay as long as they’re needed.

“You see the struggles and you see what people are going through and I think it's just human nature to say, 'What can I do to help? Send me there, how can I help,'” Crane said.