"I've never seen anything like this" Iowa ICU nurse says of COVID-19 pandemic

Garrett Short
Created: November 27, 2020 07:14 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Jessica Mulkey worked in the Intensive Care Unit years ago and left, but after watching the pandemic surge across the nation, she felt the need to return to do her part.

"It was a hard decision going back in the middle of a pandemic, but I just kind of had that feeling that, you know, I know I'm going to go back eventually and I know that they need help now," said Jessica Mulkey, an ICU nurse at MercyOne North Iowa. "This virus is something in my 10 years of nursing experience I've never seen anything like."

Mulkey said the emotional and physical exhaustion has been hard. "These nurses all throughout the hospital have been working so hard. They've been picking up extra shifts. They've been trying to fill the gaps. They've been pouring their hearts and souls into caring for these patients."

Months ago nurses were looking at the government for help, now Mulkey said they're looking to the public, pleading for help in slowing the virus down. "From the beginning of this everybody has been saying, 'oh the hospitals are the front line workers. They're in the front line of this virus and they're the ones keeping people safe.' The hospital and the healthcare workers are no longer the front line of defense for this virus. They're the last line of defense."

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