A Nurse’s Call of Duty
As non-urgent and elective surgeries were canceled at Beverly Hospital to curb the spread of the coronavirus, operating room nurse Alicia Herlihy, RN, LSO, saw an opportunity to help her community in its time of need. She volunteered to work in the hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) to help with the anticipated influx of COVID-19 patients.
“I’m young, healthy and don’t have kids or anyone at home,” she explained. “I’ll work down there as long as it takes for this to pass through.” Alicia started her career as a floor nurse before moving to surgery, so going to the ED to work with patients came back to her quickly after the staff there gave her a refresher.
For the past several weeks, Alicia has been so proud of the teamwork she has seen. The emergency room team welcomed her with open arms and supported her while she adjusted to a new workflow and environment.
As for the patients, Alicia says they’ve been very appreciative of all the staff does for them. During the discharge process, they all wave and say, “Thank you.” Another patient said a prayer for Alicia on the way out of the hospital.
At Beverly, staff wear personal protective equipment (PPE) from head-to-toe. Some staff write their names on their caps so patients know who is taking care of them. A patient who recently had surgery recognized Alicia by her unique scrub hat. “It made my day,” she said.
The North Shore community has rallied around the hospital, too. Restaurants have donated food to the hospital staff to ensure everyone has the fuel to work their busy shifts. “I hope they know just how grateful we are,” Alicia said.