UMC COVID UNIT

Frontline workers at University Medical Center now have little time for breaks, taking care of the sickest COVID patients. 

"We watched other communities, other states, other nations, go through a surge," nurse Jessica Wolff said. "We hurt for those colleagues that were going through that and wondered, well, what if?"

Wolff, Director of the Medical Surge Intermediate Critical Care Unit at University Medical Center, says boot camp is over and the battle has just begun.

"We've been withdrawing care from patients more frequently than we ever would have seen in our normal level of care and so, physically, emotionally, spiritually, this has been really challenging on our teams," she said. 

Her staff of 90 workers, or as they call themselves "The Wolff Pack", is the fifth unit to transition to treating COVID patients at U.M.C.

Their beds are full of sick patients who require round-the-clock care.

"We're really at the cusp of if that patients needs to be intubated, sedated or if we're making improvements in their care to try to get them out," Wolff explained. "It's really important that everyone is on the floor, attentive to monitors and alarms, and visually can kind of see that patients. Because if they pull their oxygen off, you have very few minutes to respond to where you get into a critical state."

She says the 12 hour shifts can be exhausting. And nowadays, there is hardly any break time.

"You're having to get your suit on, zip it up really quick, get a face shield on, have your N95, get your hair bonnet, get your gloves on, so it can take some time," Wolff said.

UMC NURSE PPE COVID

A U.M.C. nurse wears full personal protective equipment on a floor dedicated to COVID patients. 

In order to keep her staff going, she has organized a supply drive asking for water, granola bars and other snacks.

It is a simple way to say thank you to the frontline workers, battling the COVID crisis head-on.

"Having an opportunity to grab a quick thing for replenishment is huge," Wolff said. 

The community has not disappointed.

"The response has been unbelievable. We've had over 35 to 40 donations. We've had multiple phone calls even from out of state. That's grown into not only just replenishment, snacks and things like that, but personalized thank you notes, well wishes to our staff," Wolff explained. 

If you would like to donate, you can click this link.