Message from an ICU nurse: Please stay the course
By Jenea Goddard Apr 22, 2020
My name is Jenea Goddard and I am the Manager of the Intensive Care Unit at Wyoming Medical Center. I have been asked to speak with you today about the seriousness of COVID-19 in the hospital setting.
While it is true that the majority of COVID-19 cases are mild and symptoms can be managed at home as patients self isolate, the cases that require hospitalization are serious and often heart wrenching for patients, families and the staff who are caring for these patients.
In the last several weeks, Wyoming Medical Center has cared for nine COVID patients. Five of those were transferred from other Wyoming communities, and four were from Natrona County. Most of them have required care on our Intensive Care Unit and have required ventilation to assist with breathing. Three of our COVID patients died this week. All three were transferred here from outside Natrona County in the last several weeks. Every death is painful for all on the front lines of health care. Our hearts go out to their loved ones.
We, the caregivers at Wyoming Medical Center, have seen first hand the devastation this disease can inflict on patients and their entire families. It is extremely difficult to see patients struggle to breathe, or be intubated on a ventilator, and separated from friends and family to prevent spread of the coronavirus. The care team, from the housekeepers to the physicians and everyone in between, work long hours to provide the best care possible, while also thinking of their own families at home and their safety.
Please, take the threat of COVID-19 seriously. The next few weeks are critical, and we ask that everyone remain vigilant in preventing the spread of this virus.
- Stay home when you are able.
- Maintain social distancing in every situation and avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
- Limit trips to the grocery store and send just one person from your household if possible. Disinfect cart handles and common surfaces with bleach wipes and use hand gel after you leave the store.
- Wear face masks when in public as the Centers for Disease Control recommend. Please – this not only protects you, but also our community.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
- If we are diligent now we can prevent more deaths and the devastation it brings to all.
Medicine is a calling and each of us on the frontlines take that calling personally. The weeks ahead will likely take a toll on our nurses, respiratory therapists, physicians, and everyone who participates in the care of patients and families. But, with your help and vigilance, we will come through this together and stronger on the other side.
Jenea Goddard, R.N., C.C.R.N, is nurse manager of our Intensive Care Unit, and she chairs the hospital’s Caring Coalition and Donor Resource Team. In 2019, the Casper Star-Tribune selected her as one of Wyoming's Top Nurses. Read her story here.