CONWAY, Ark. – Nurses in Arkansas said they are bracing for another potential surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Hannah Ray is a RN at Conway Regional and has been in the COVID ward since it was created. She said she remembers the peak of COVID in Arkansas from last winter.
“That period was scary, it was probably the hardest battle we had to fight,” she said.
She said many nurses are becoming more apprehensive of the situation in Arkansas, especially in the past two weeks.
She said many have thoughts and memories of those long and hard days and wonder if that is what is about to happen again.
“I think it’s a little bit different this year because we know what to expect, we know what we’re getting into right now. Whereas last year we had no idea of what was to come,” she explained.
Ray said Conway Regional – like many other hospitals – has a better understanding of the virus, they have found better workflow techniques to lighten the load whenever possible, and there are better treatments out there so they do feel more prepared this time should things get more dire.
She said one of the biggest things they realize as a unit now is they are not alone.
“We can’t rely on ourselves, we’re not here alone as nurses, we’re a team and we have to take these patients as a team,” Ray said.
She said the administration at Conway Regional is very understanding of the workload they are asking of their people. They have done things in the past like provide snacks, provide on-site childcare, and allow employees to just get away from the workload, even for just a few minutes.
Since June, Conway Regional has seen 94% of its COVID cases come from those who are not vaccinated.
“We have got to get people vaccinated so we can prevent what we’re seeing and these numbers from going up,” Ray said.