Nurse at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital talks life during COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Apr. 3, 2020 at 6:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Healthcare workers across the nation are on the front lines during this coronavirus pandemic.

“I feel like my water bill is two times or three times what it was last month. Pretty much every day when I get home from work, I immediately put my clothes in the washing machine. Every day is uncertain at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital, " said Nickelow Carlton.

“Just knowing what’s new, what are the daily changes, and kind of how that impacts our patients," Carlton said.

She’s seeing patients in person, but her family online.

“Even the social distancing and staying safe, it doesn’t stop here in the hospital. I also take it home.”

Working on the front line, Carlton said it’s a daily reminder why a support system and a faith-based lifestyle can change the way you live your life.

“The important thing is not to lose sight of perspective that we are people and the only way we can get through these things is together," Carlton said. “Seeing that emotionally, people are dying without family, unfortunately they don’t have people with them here at the bed side, it reminds me of why I became a nurse. It reminds me of what it means to be a servant.”

She said if 2020 had a motto, something to go on a t-shirt, it would be “wash your hands.”

“Sometimes we lose sight," said Carlton. "We think I’m okay, so that’s okay. But somebody else might not be okay. So, I think just remembering people around the community are suffering too. This social distancing is not just about me, it’s about the people around me also.

Carlton wants you to know washing your hands and maintaining social distance is absolutely essential.

“Just because you aren’t affected by the coronavirus doesn’t mean the person next to you is not, or the person you know is not," Carlton said. “It’s affecting healthcare workers throughout the nation also, so we’re not immune to this. So, if we’re telling you this, it’s because we’ve seen it firsthand.”

But as this registered nurse continues to see patients day in and day out during this global pandemic, she said her faith tells her one thing is for sure.

“History shows there is going to be an impact definitely but we can get through this," Carlton said.

Carlton said some ways you can be social during social distancing is byhosting a virtual dinner party or play games together online.

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