Bonnie Hess

These past three years have been the hardest years of my entire 24-year career as a nurse.

It has been exceedingly difficult for my staff and for our community at large. My staff has endured long shifts, exorbitant overtime, separation from their families while repeatedly watching our community experience profound loss.

Our small ICU is consistently full of very sick people. At its worst, COVID-19 causes the lungs to stop working. Even with our best medical treatments, many patients slowly suffocated to death over a period of several weeks.

We have seen entire families become victims of the virus.

I tell you this not to scare you, but to remind you to keep your guard up. I urge each of you to strongly consider getting vaccinated – especially those of you that are most vulnerable. Please seek care early if you have signs or symptoms of illness.

Avoid the emergency room when possible. Minor illness can often be cared for by your primary care providers. We are seeing record numbers of people come to the emergency department.

Finally, please know that my staff and I deeply care for our community. We love our patients, we know our patients, we treat our patients like family. We are devastated from the losses of the last three years.

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