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‘Compassion in Action’ a look at Day One for Utah nurses in New York City

Posted at 8:18 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 23:25:05-04

NEW YORK CITY — The first group of Intermountain Healthcare workers started orientation in New York City Wednesday.

Nurses coming from Utah have been working with small numbers of COVID-19 patients and now, they are working at the Northwell Health Hospital which has 650 COVID-19 patients.

Missy Best has been a nurse for 7 years at Logan Regional hospital and said it was a big difference going from a very small community to a “great, big community.”

Best said she was thrilled to help out her fellow nurses in New York.

“To think that you have to work four weeks straight and 12 hours a day. You don’t get to see your family, you’re just working and sleeping, working and sleeping,” said Best.

Best hopes to provide some relief for these nurses, a sentiment echoed by Jess Fecteau who has been a nurse for five years at LDS Hospital.

“We’re trained to go to war, but we’re just doing our daily thing,” said Fecteau. “We’ve been called to come out and annihilate COVID.”

Fecteau said 600 nurses from Utah applied to go and only 50 were selected to be apart of this first group.

“I just thought it would be a huge honor to experience this,” said Fecteau.

Northwell Health Nursing Education Vice President, Launette Woolforde said their hospital has 17,000 nurses and their emergency rooms are packed with patients with shortness of breath.

75 precent of Northwell’s patients are those with COVID19.

“Normally, we would have one nurse in our ICU taking care of two patients,” said Woolforde “This was going to result in one nurse perhaps taking care of four, five or six patients.”

An unimaginable ratio, said Woolforde.

Northwell is running at almost twice their capacity. Once Utah’s caseworkers finish learning the electronic documentation system for the hospital, Woolforde said they will be working side by side with Northwell nurses.

“When they walked in the door we were like, oh my God we’re thankful you’re here,” said Woolforde.

Woolforde pointed out that the additional nurses sent by Intermountain Healthcare were not part of a business deal arrangement.

“This is compassion in action,” said Woolforde.

The group of caregivers will be with Northwell for two weeks.

Intermountain Healthcare is sending another group to help the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday.