AUSTIN, Texas - Iza Ferrino, an ICU nurse at Dell Seton Medical Center, is fighting COVID-19 up close and personal.
“That's all I've seen for the past maybe a month and a half,” she said.
The numbers have been on the rise in Austin, but Ferrino wants to remind the public that those numbers are people.
“Numbers don't mean a whole lot but once you see it face to face you see how truly terrifying it is. We've seen young people with no past medical history get extremely sick from this,” said Ferrino.
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Ferrino often intubates people and places them on ventilators when things get really bad.
“There's a small tube that goes in your throat. That is connected to a ventilator. The ventilator is going to provide oxygen and support for your lungs to be able to function properly. With COVID, we've seen that their lungs are completely filled with fluid and are not able to function properly. Ventilators are essential for patients to be able to live,” she said.
Nurses are not only tasked with saving lives, but also making patients comfortable. This is something Ferrino knew was her calling.
“There was one patient in particular about to get intubated. He's there, scared, he doesn't have anyone around him. The anesthesia group goes in there with full hazmat suits, and luckily I had a walkie-talkie and I was able to talk him through it and let him know what's going on. The look in his face when he realized I spoke Spanish, I’ll never forget it he just lit up,” said Ferrino.
After a while, there will be an emotional toll.
“With visitor restrictions and families not able to be there, it's very difficult on us emotionally seeing somebody die without someone being physically there so we try to be there for them as well,” said Ferrino.
Nurses who are seeing this pandemic first hand, are tasked with treating and comforting those numbers of COVID-19 cases and Ferrino believes the fight is far from over.
“I think we are starting to see more and more patients. Today is the most patients we've had so far. They just keep coming,” said Ferrino.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW:
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