Frontline Heroes: Life as a nurse on a COVID-19 floor

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As the pandemic continues, so do the long hours and sacrifices nurses have to make as they treat coronavirus patients.

Two nurses, Traci Trodahl and Sara Bowman, have been working on the COVID-19 floor at Miami Valley Hospital.

On Thursday, they told 2 NEWS what has changed over the past few months are their fear levels. They said they feel like they’ve now got a good process going, and have heard that none of the nurses on their floor have contracted COVID-19.

But they said what has stayed the same is how devastating the virus truly is, and how their support systems are helping them get through this difficult time.

“My family all call and check in on me, even more than I’d like sometimes,” joked Todahl.

But, they quickly said the hardest part continues to be explaining how real and devastating the virus is to those who don’t see it firsthand. Sara Bowman said three times so far, she has cared for a dying patient whose family didn’t come in.

“I’d gown up and I’d go in and I would ask the family what the patient’s belief system was, so I could properly pray to whom or with them, and it’s been a real honor for me to sit at their bedside and hold their hand,” said Bowman.

Bowman says she takes every precaution. As soon as she gets home, she changes and showers in the garage before entering the house.

Both nurses, along with the majority on their floor, volunteered for the duty. They said providing this care was their calling, and added that through this experience, they’ve learned to appreciate the small things.

“Just coming home and enjoying everything, and my family, and we’re taking it just one day at a time,” said Todahl.

Both Todahl and Bowman also said another thing that has really helped is the community support. They said they often get free food, or even kind messages sent to them and every act of kindness and heartfelt thanks goes a long way.

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