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Healthcare Heroes: Karla Robles, BSN, RN

Nurse’s Deep Commitment Shines during Pandemic

When she got the call to work in Beverly Hospital’s COVID-19 testing tent on the first day it opened, Karla Robles, BSN, RN, didn’t hesitate to suit up and join the teams on the front lines of this pandemic. “I wasn’t nervous,” Karla said. “I felt privileged to give back to the community.”

At hospitals around the country, white tents have popped up, filled with health care workers in coverings and masks, swabbing the noses of suspected COVID-19 patients. Karla admits it can look intimidating to the people in their cars, waiting to get tested. “People are scared,” she said. “When they hear, ‘coronavirus,’ they don’t know what to do.”

Karla and her nursing colleagues at Beverly took on the task proudly and with a purpose. In addition to testing patients, Karla and the team felt it was important to educate people, not just from a medical perspective, but to also assuage their concerns and care for them emotionally. They talked to patients and gave them handouts about their symptoms, how to take care of themselves and when to seek medical attention.

Karla’s main assignment is working on J3, which is one of Beverly’s currently designated COVID-19 floors. She’s honored to get to help these patients, but the hardest part is seeing them spend day after day without visitors, since the pandemic has forced hospitals to limit almost all visitors. She recalled the time she had to hold a patient’s hand as that person took a last breath while the patient’s family watched helplessly on the phone. “Until someone knows someone who has died from coronavirus, they don’t know how serious this is,” Karla said.

As difficult as those moments are, Karla keeps going to work. “It’s a calling,” she said. “I’ve just been lucky to fulfill it.”

The Beverly Hospital Healthcare Heroes Emergency Response Fund supports front line care providers like Karla.