Amber Gordon, RN, just completed 21 straight days of 12-hour shifts serving as a nurse in one of the hospitals that was hardest-hit by COVID-19 – Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York.
Gordon, of Memphis, is a registered nurse and a student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing. When the coronavirus reached crisis level, “I just knew that I wanted to help in any way that I could,” she said. “I don’t think anybody really grasped the kind of experience they were going to get.”.
Gordon signed up as a temporary nurse with a company that handles emergent staffing needs and is working with hospitals in New York City. With ICU and dialysis experience in Memphis hospitals, she was not naïve about the realities of acute health care. Still, she had never seen severe illness on such magnitude before. The 11-floor hospital had COVID-19 patients on nearly every floor, and the staff was exhausted, she said.