Utah nurse describes working with virus patients, toll it is taking on her

Coronavirus

MURRAY, Utah (KTVX) — A day in the ICU at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray is proving to be “exhausting” for frontline workers.

Tammy Kocherhans is a Registered Nurse. In speaking to NewsNation affiliate KTVX, she says she feels like she’s running a “marathon” without the ability to rest.

“We didn’t ask to work a pandemic,” Kocherhans said. “We’re doing it and we care for our people. These patients are very complicated and very needy as far as some of the work we do with them.”

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That work includes coordinating treatment plans, moving patients, and meeting with doctors. On Thursday, the state announced nearly 4,000 new COVID-19 cases, and 18 deaths, setting a new record.

As the rise in cases continues, Kocherhans is feeling the toll of being the link between the patient and their loved ones.

“We kind of host this conversation and visualization,” explains Kocherhans. “So, when the family says ‘can you please, please hold their hand for me?’ So, then I’ll hold their hand. That creates that physical touch and emotional combination, and for me watching my families just sob on FaceTime or whatever format, is really hard.”

A mother of two, Kocherhans says a typical day begins about 15 to 30 minutes before her 12 hour shift.

It’s so she can sit in her vehicle in the parking lot to do a new practice she’s adopted.

“I found that during the pandemic, I need for myself to arrive at 6:30 in the morning to be able to have a moment of meditation,” said Kocherhans.

A side effect of the pandemic, to help her prepare for what she may encounter.

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