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Frontline healthcare workers at OMH see the worst side of COVID-19; spike of positive patients

By Jannette Pippin
The Daily News
Published 12:36 p.m. ET Jan. 15, 2021

Onslow Memorial Hospital has seen a drastic increase of COVID-19 positive patients this month and the frontline healthcare workers who [care] first-hand [for] the patients at the COVID unit, see the serious[ness] of the virus.

Kelly Dzurilla, a registered nurse in the COVID unit, said she sees the worst of the virus and encourages others to take precautions to against COVID-19.

“There are parts of me that wish that the public in general could see what I see when I go to work. But there are other parts of me that are so grateful that they don’t have to because I feel like they would be terrified if themselves or their family members were diagnosed with COVID. It would terrify them. So in one way it’s a blessing for them not to know what that looks like, but in another way I wish that they could just see a little of it so that they would be a little bit afraid and take less chances out in public. To protect their own family,” Druzilla said.

Onslow Memorial Hospital started seeing an increase after averaging 23 COVID-19 positive inpatients per day during December until the middle of the month but [the] hospital saw an average [of] 32 per day during the last week of December.

The hospital reported Wednesday [1/13] morning that they are caring for 46 COVID-19 patients, which is the highest number since the pandemic began.

OMH hosted a virtual interview Thursday with healthcare workers who have cared for COVID-19 patients.

COVID Ward Unit Secretary Sabrina Dupey, Patient Care Tech, has worked on the unit for much of the coronavirus pandemic, which started early 2020.

“I get a little emotional, it’s very emotional because I hate to see my elderly patients and they’re struggling to breathe. It’s taking a toll on me,” Dupey said. “I feel for them a lot, it’s to make them feel better and you know they’ll give me a smile behind that bipap mask. I just don’t like seeing them suffer to breathe like that. It’s not right, COVID is not discriminatory, it could hit any age, any race; it’s hard right now."

Dupey said [it] is disheartening with some people who consider COVID-19 is a hoax. She said it is a “real thing” and is a serious virus.

Dupey said it has been emotional time during working at the unit but she loves her patients and comes each day to do help.

“My patients mainly (make me come back every day). You know I love my patients, I loved my patients before COVID and I love them after COVID. It’s just harder now; we get really, really sick ones and it’s hard when they pass.”

Dzurilla said there will be more COVID-19 cases and wearing masks and social distancing is important right now but she is hopeful there is an end near. “However I am very hopeful that because of the vaccine now starting to be given, that this is not going to play out for another year,” she said.

View the original story, here: https://www.jdnews.com/story/news/local/2021/01/15/omh-healthcare-workers-see-spike-serious-covid-patients/4157646001/?a=a&utm_source=jdnews-News%20Alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=news_alerts&utm_term=news_alert

Reporter Jannette Pippin can be reached at 910-382-2557 or Jannette.Pippin@JDNews.com.