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CRMC Nurses Working Tirelessly Amidst Record Numbers

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
CRMC Nurses Working Tirelessly Amidst Record Numbers

Cookeville Regional Medical Center nurses are dealing with exhaustion amidst a relentless COVID surge.

That’s according to ICU Nurse Allison Breeding. Breeding said that she and her coworkers are seeing patients that are younger and sicker than before.

She said that despite dealing with the virus for the past 18 months, it hasn’t gotten easier.

“These people are my age,” Breeding said. “I mean I’m 32. I took care of a 35-year-old and I mean I have a five-year-old. And to think that I might not come home is terrifying. These people, I mean you don’t know their families, you don’t know what they’re leaving behind. It hits a lot closer to home when it’s your age and the prognosis is grim.”

Breeding said that nurses are working to give all patients the best care they can, but are facing difficulties due to staffing shortage and high patient volume. She said that currently, they are on mandatory overtime.

Breeding said that the previous nurse-to-patient ratio was one to one. She said that it can sometimes reach triple that. According to recent CRMC numbers from Tuesday, there are 98 patients currently hospitalized with COVID.

One thing Breeding said she wishes people understood is that while the vaccine may not prevent COVID, it could prevent you from getting worse symptoms.

“You can’t reason with irrational fear,” Breeding said. “And there’s a lot of misinformation about the vaccine. The vaccine is not going to prevent you from getting it. It’s just hopefully going to prevent you from going to the hospital which is a huge thing because right now, we have no beds. And we’re having to rent ventilators.”

Breeding said that despite the hardships and the mental, physical,  emotional exhaustion, the CRMC staff has exhibited tremendous teamwork and camaraderie. She said that amidst all of it, it’s her passion for nursing that keeps her going.

“I have a shirt that I have gotten and it’s part of rich Froning’s Mayhem and it says ‘Into the Storm,’” Breeding said. “So as nurses, this is our storm. And we’ve got to weather this. And I feel like nursing is my calling, it’s my gift. And I made a commitment and I’m going to try and uphold and honor that commitment for as long as possible and continue to weather the storm.”

The post CRMC Nurses Working Tirelessly Amidst Record Numbers appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.