SUN CITY, AZ — A nurse on a designated COVID-19 floor is speaking out about working with coronavirus patients.
Banner Health Boswell in Sun City has a designated floor to patients with COVID-19. The former PICU floor was chosen because it is a newer floor in the hospital, and has its own ventilation system.
Nurses on that floor, 1 North, were forced to switch gears to begin treating patients with, and presumed to have, COVID-19.
"I'm just trying to do my job," said Baillie Statler, a registered nurse at Banner Health Boswell. "These patients need somebody and if we all decide to sit at home then who's gonna take care of them?"
Statler, who works on the 1 North floor, said she wasn't concerned about coronavirus until a doctor expressed fear to her about a month ago.
"A doctor came out and he's like sharing his feelings on the matter. I didn't even ask," said Statler. "He just came out and said he was scared. I was shocked."
Statler has been on the front lines, treating patients with COVID-19 for about a month, and says there is still a lot that the general public and health professionals do not know about the virus.
"Even the [patients] who are testing negative, they're still so sick, and we don't know if it's a true negative," said Statler. "It's the signs of the flu, but I've heard that the respiratory issues, the difficulty breathing, is indescribable. I haven't lost a patient yet, as of this moment in time, but it's going to happen and I'm just going to rely on my other coworkers to hopefully get through it."
Statler has isolated herself away from family and friends since beginning work with COVID-19 patients.
"I am that perfect carrier who won't show any symptoms," said Statler. "I live alone. I come home. I shower. I don't do anything else on my days off."
Statler wears personal protective equipment from head to toe including a gown, mask, face shield, and gloves. She said she's proud to be a nurse caring for patients who need it most.
"I'm proud to be a nurse," said Statler. "Yeah it's hard but hopefully when this ends eventually and we can look back at our strengths and say we accomplished something."