Stevens Point nurse returns from working in New York

Published: May. 26, 2020 at 10:40 PM CDT
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Marshfield Clinic nurse and Stevens Point native Amy Koelemay recently went to New York City to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It definitely takes its toll. You're hot, you're sweaty, the N-95 masks leave marks on your face, it can be painful. That was pretty intense," Koelemay said.

For Amy, her time there mean 12 to 14-hour workdays and stepping out of her comfort zone.

"Myself included, a lot of us were thrown into that situation, learning very quickly to care for these critical care patients on the fly," Koelemay added.

With the need for nurses at such a high level, Amy was able to help fill a massive need.

"They were definitely relieved that there was an influx of nurses coming in, especially that first week I was there. While the hospital that I was at had an estimated 400 travel nurses that had come to help out with this crisis and every single one of them were utilized," Koelemay explained.

Once she started working, it only took Amy one day for one of her patients to show their appreciation.

"They were very very humbled and honored to have a nurse come all the way from Wisconsin to help them. And they referred to me as their angel from Wisconsin. It was very honoring and humbling to be able to help that person," Koelemay said.

Since her return, Amy wants people to know that helping to stop the spread not only keeps people safe from COVID-19 but also frees up others to use the hospitals.

"A nurse is caring for 10 patients and half of them are critical. So that huge influx of patients makes a big difference in the health care system and quality of patient care," Koelemay stated.

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