Life on the front lines has never been more trying for those working in the healthcare profession. They truly are heroes, and we're so proud to spotlight our very own Tom Mazza '11, an ER registered nurse at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery just outside of Philadelphia, who shared his experience and reflected on what it's been like working and living during this pandemic.
by Tom Mazza '11
I am a graduate of the Class of 2011, and I majored in biology.
I am an ER registered nurse at Einstein Montgomery. I have been there since August 2019 after Hahnemann University Hospital closed. Daily activities include triaging and taking care of and stabilizing patients. I can have more or less 15 patients in a one 12-hour shift. Our daily shifts have changed since coronavirus — we have to wear a mask and eye protection our whole shift. How we take care of COVID-19 patients and prepare to take care of a potential COVID-19 patients slow things down. It’s quite a process to go into those rooms now as wearing all our protective gear and clustering our care takes more time. Currently, the amount of patients we are seeing is down, but the acuity of patients is certainly higher. Making sure I am protected and others are protected while I take care of these patients is very important, so is making sure they know they are not alone.
My emotions at the beginning were, “Oh, it’s just the flu.” Then they turned into being scared to go into work, and I was anxious knowing I would have to wear a mask the whole shift. But now I have comfort from my coworkers and the community. I know my coworkers are there to back me up, and the community shows they are with us by their generous food donations and many other donations they have made to help us get through our shifts. I am also sad at times when patients get bad news and aren’t able to have family with them.