Nurses are leading response teams and demonstrating master skills

Nurses are leading response teams and demonstrating master skills

I became a nurse because I have a passion and a drive to be a part of the healing process. The pandemic has definitely challenged this passion. Nurses have been the backbone of the fight against COVID-19. We have implemented testing, cared for infected patients, organized and administered vaccines and handled many other difficult tasks in between. In addition to the pictures we see of nurses caring for the critically ill at hospital bedsides, countless more are hard at work behind the scenes.

As a nurse, I had a front row seat to the progression of the COVID-19 response at Marshall Health. During the early weeks of March 2020, we implemented a COVID-19 Hotline staffed by nurses to aid the public with questions, concerns and education regarding the virus. This quickly led to the coordination, development and implementation of multiple public testing sites where our nurses and providers performed thousands of tests to identify infected patients. We also assisted local health departments with quarantine, contact tracing and treatment of these patients. When the COVID-19 vaccines became available in January 2021, our nursing team worked quickly and diligently to develop and execute multiple vaccine clinics hosted at the Marshall University Medical Center. Our medical team at Marshall Health continues to work tirelessly to help with disease prevention and its complications well before patients need more aggressive care.

Today’s nurses are leading response teams and demonstrating master skills and expertise in full scale public health operations, disaster preparedness, predicative modeling and hospital and ambulatory operations. We are exploring the experiences of all nursing roles to better our development, preparedness and response measures for future pandemics.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will forever be seen and felt throughout the nursing profession. Despite all that it has taken from nurses, we will continue to display our resilience, compassion and complete dedication to patient care and public health.

During this year’s Nurses Week, I want to say thank you to our nursing team and all nurses worldwide for your selfless devotion and tireless efforts in fighting this pandemic.


This article originally appears in the May 9, 2021, edition of the Herald Dispatch

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Vanessa White

Vanessa White, R.N., is the chronic care management director at Marshall Health.