What a 13-Hour Nurse's Shift Is Like Amid Coronavirus
Medical personnel are constantly worried about bringing the virus home to their families.
Exhausted, overworked and scared — that nearly sums up life currently for America's health care workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.
Elyse Isopo, a nurse at Long Island's North Shore University Hospital, talked to Inside Edition about a typical day in her life and the toll the virus is taking on her well-being.
On her sixth 13-hour day in one week, Isopo was exhausted.
"It's tiring and takes a toll," she said. "People are getting sicker. There are more people coming in and the curve continues to rise."
Isopo's hospital is preparing for an increase of patients, so they turned a lecture hall into a patient room and even converted some couches into beds.
Medical personnel constantly worry about bringing the virus home to their families.
"I personally got engaged last Saturday," said one staffer. "My big concern is always taking something home and possibly contaminating my family
Isopo is also concerned about that possibility. At the end of her 13-hour shift, she finally gets to go home for the night. But before she is able to greet her family, she goes through a strict cleaning routine.
She drops off her shoes at the front door. In the backyard, she disinfects her backpack with Lysol. Then she washes her hands, her keys, her ID and anything else that could be contaminated. Meanwhile, her family patiently waits to be with her.
"I'm so happy when my mom comes home, but sad that I can't hug her," her 7-year-old daughter said.
When she's finally home, Isopo said she usually can't do much of anything besides take a shower, eat something and go to bed, with the hopes of resting up for another long day on the front lines.
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