TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — They’re heroes, called to do a job many don’t have the heart for. Now more than ever, their professionalism is needed, but so is their compassion.

“There are some dark days here, and this disease truly is really insidious, and it’s terrible to watch,” Nicole Beeson, a Critical Care R.N. at St Joesph’s Medical Center, said.

It’s awful to witness, but nurses at the Critical Care Unit at St. Joseph’s have a front-row seat to the COVID-19 horror show.

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“It messes with your mind a little bit to be perfectly honest because you think you’re doing all the right things,” Beeson said. “But let’s be frank, there’s exhaustion in all of this.”

In a unit of 28 beds, pre-pandemic totals show about 10 beds would be used for severely ill patients. Six to seven would be for those needing intermediate care, and the rest would be empty.

Now, 30 beds are being used for critically ill patients who are fighting for their lives against COVID-19.

“This disease is not going anywhere,” Beeson said. “It’s probably gonna be here for a good bit, and will be here in the rooms fighting the battle with the patients.”

But the team here won’t leave the sick to battle alone. They’re here with kindness and compassion to bring people back to health, and many patients have walked out of St. Joseph’s after the victory is theirs.

“We make it a point to celebrate the successes when we can finally take them off the ventilator,” Beeson said. “We play a song overhead, everyone’s very excited, the whole hospital celebrates that.”

As donated food, PPE and hand made masks pour into the hospital, the staff says the support is the most priceless gift of all.

“It’s the outpouring of support to bolster us and lift us up, so we feel so empowered and encouraged,” Beeson said. “It’s really, really amazing.”

Nurses say they continue to lift each other up, remind themselves about self-care and move forward with a focus on better days ahead.

If you want to help, out there is a website for donations, which you can find by clicking right here.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachael Cardin

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