February 19, 2021
Texas is currently overwhelmed by the effects of the Uri Storm that hit the state this month. However, two nurses have remained determined to do their work through the snow and cold.
Working in the medical field means one is committed to saving lives no matter what circumstances one might face. This is the case with two nurses who work in the state of Texas.
The state is currently facing some of the worst weather conditions in its history. The residents have been battling power blackouts, water shortages, and transportation issues, among others, due to storm Uri.
Two nurses have shared how they braved the elements to get to work on Monday morning. Brooke Wilson is a delivery and labor nurse with St. David's Women's Center of Texas in North Austin.
She revealed how she got to work on the day by bundling herself up warmly and wearing her boots. Wilson also packed a bag in anticipation of a long shift and got walking to work.
The walk to work took her a whole 30 minutes. Another nurse, Amy Belknap, an oncology nurse manager at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, had to walk a mile to get to her job.
She began her walk just before sunrise while nobody else was up and about. Belknap revealed how the roads were empty as if no one had driven on them, and the snow was still quite beautiful.
She recalled how peaceful everything seemed despite the storm. Before going into work, the nurse made sure she wasn’t the only one who was doing her best to get to work.
She made sure to go in because she wanted to relieve her team members and care for patients. Her work has seen her getting less and less sleep, and she confessed that she’d only slept for two hours.
Belknap explained that she and the other staff had been rotating to give each other breaks. On Tuesday, she and Wilson both checked in to work again without fail because hospitals never shut down.
Their toilets aren’t able to flush because of water scarcity.
Wilson revealed that she also went in because she didn’t want to let her colleagues down. She explained how the staff that was spread thin wasn’t safe for patients or each other.
The nurse also noted how babies didn’t wait for better weather conditions to be born as they came when they wanted. Speaking about her work at the women’s center, Wilson said:
"My unit is just one of many where people are having to get here and do their job.”
Medical centers have been under a lot of strain, and things have deteriorated due to the water boil notices. A lot of Austin area centers have already run out of water or have low water pressure.
Ascension Seton Southwest Hospital and Dell Children's Medical Center are two hospitals that have been affected by water issues. Their toilets aren’t able to flush because of water scarcity.
St. David's South Austin nurses have been instructed not to leave toilet paper in the toilet when urinating. They’ve also been told to use trash bags to remove feces from toilet bowls.
On Wednesday, some Houston-area hospitals had to cancel surgeries because of the storm’s effects. Water pipes have burst, and they are trying to continue conserving water in the region.