'We can't do this forever': Cox Health nurse details working on COVID-19 unit, urges public to 'be careful'

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An intensive care unit nurse at Cox Medical Center Branson (Mo.) shared what it's like to work on a COVID-19 unit amid a social media push that aims to educate the public about being a front-line worker in a pandemic, reports CBS affiliate KOLR.

"You have multiple patients to balance and you're at the door, trying to get dressed so you can go in and help them," said Kayla Hilles, RN, ICU nurse at Cox Medical Center Branson. "And you're trying to redirect them to put their oxygen back on their nose. And you see their oxygen levels dropping quickly."

"It's really hard to not just run in and help someone when they need it," said Ms. Hilles. 

Ms. Hilles was featured in a video series on the hospital's Facebook page that highlights front-line healthcare workers.

Ms. Hilles said there's a low COVID-19 death rate "because of the work that we do every day."  

With the spread of the delta coronavirus variant and local tourism increasing, Branson is becoming a hot spot, reports KOLR. Statewide, new COVID-19 cases have jumped 68 percent over the last two weeks.

"We can't do this forever, and I'm not asking you to not see your family," Ms. Hilles said. "I'm not asking you to stay locked in your house. I'm not asking you to not go enjoy your life. I'm asking you to please be careful. You hear on the radio, things are returning to normal. This isn't normal, and I will never accept that this will be our new normal because nobody should ever have to live like this."

Cox Medical Center Branson is expanding its COVID-19 unit due to urgent need, Ms. Hilles said. 

 

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