Chatham Co. nurse shares experience of working on frontlines during pandemic

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:43 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In Chatham County we have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases continue.

Hospitalizations have increased to levels we haven’t seen since March 9. As of Thursday, 46 people have been sent to Chatham County area hospitals because of the virus.

Twenty are at Memorial and St Joseph’s/Candler Health System has 26 COVID patients.

That’s 10 more than they had two weeks ago.

For several of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has felt very long, but for ICU nurses it’s a daily battle and one they stand ready for.

“We are ready for whatever we face, but we don’t want, we do not want to face another surge of COVID. It was awful to see and experience and I hope we never have to the likes again so yeah it is a big fear,” said Bryan Christain, ICU Nurse at Candler Hospital.

Bryan Christain has been on the frontline of the pandemic and says while this latest increase is concerning, it’s something he expected. He says the experience of COVID patients in the ICU is similar to what they saw months ago, but a majority of them are unvaccinated. While it’s still a challenge to handle COVID daily, he says they’re better prepared now.

“There’s really no comparison because we know what COVID is and we know how to treat it and as far as for a system wide the operations and comfortability with dealing with these patients and this illness is much more dialed in.”

He says another layer of comfort is being vaccinated, and encourages others to do their research to do what’s right for their family. But his message from the ICU for the community is to not minimize the damage COVID can do to some.

“COVID is very serious and if you don’t have a person close to you who’s been affected by it you might not realize how serious it can be because most cases are mild and don’t require hospitalization, but you’re essentially playing roulette with getting COVID in that you really don’t know how severe it is going to affect you. And that it could cost you a life. I mean we see mortality on this unit.”

Candler leaders say though they have very few vaccinated patients in the hospital, no one who has gotten the vaccine has died from COVID-19.

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