CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic are risking it all to protect the community.
“We’re sweating, we can't breathe from the masks. It gets messy," said Leanna Jones.
She is in the trenches and has been for nearly two decades. Jones is an emergency department nurse at Atrium Health University City. She's been there for the Charlotte community for 18 years. But in the last two months, her day to day has changed drastically.
“Normally, the emergency department is busy. We're busting out the seams. Patients are coming in, we're trying to think quickly, we’re trying to take care of these patients. Throw COVID into it, and it halted. We didn’t get a lot of patients that we normally see. Now, we're seeing a different type of patient and we're on edge trying to think of how to protect the patients we're seeing,” Jones explained.
Protecting herself is a daunting task too. She has four sons and her husband at home to think about.
She says she leans on her team, the nurses, doctors and managers who help each other through every shift.
Even with a mask on, you can see her smile in every recent picture. She's obviously passionate about what she does.
“I’m not a hero. I just go and do what I’m supposed to do because I love taking care of people,” said Jones.
But it's a job that deserves praise every day, and now especially.
The community rising to the occasion. A parade of lights was held at the University City hospital.
“I remember coming outside and listening to all the sirens of the first responders that came parading around our E.D. That drew a lot of tears. Charlotte coming together as a community is the most rewarding thing to come out of this pandemic,” she said.
Nurses like Jones are the glue holding the community together as everyone fights this pandemic.
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