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Navy members depart Fort Collins after treating COVID sufferers

Navy members depart Fort Collins after treating COVID sufferers

The navy surge groups journey the world, offering help on the hospitals that want it most.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A hospital in Fort Collins wanted assist – and that is when the navy arrived to deal with COVID sufferers. 

The Division of Protection (DOD) COVID surge groups solely reply to the hospitals which might be most overwhelmed and they’re now leaving after a month in Colorado.

For weeks, they’ve helped exhausted nurses and medical doctors at UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital deal with tons of of COVID sufferers, taking a burden off the overwhelmed healthcare employees in Fort Collins. 

“It’s emotional typically having to proceed coming again on a regular basis realizing that you haven’t any concept what’s going to occur that day,” mentioned Reatha Blumenthal, an emergency division nurse on the hospital. “It’s been very nice to have some assist and take off somewhat little bit of the stress that we really feel from it.”

Almost two years right into a pandemic, the hospital in Fort Collins wanted assist and the Air Pressure responded. 

Twenty individuals from the Division of Protection and FEMA medical surge groups stayed in Colorado for round a month to deal with COVID sufferers and assist give employees members on the hospital a break. 

“You get drained and there’s burnout and issues get placed on the backburner like your individual psychological well-being,” mentioned Syd Cerizo, a progressive care unit nurse. “It’s simply what you do. You handle individuals no matter how nerve-racking it is perhaps, how busy it’d get.”

Captain Troy Geier, Main Peter Johnson and Main Sharlott Uriarte journey the world with the DOD, offering help to the hospitals that want it most. They’re simply three of the Air Pressure service members who deployed to Fort Collins to assist deal with COVID sufferers. 

RELATED: U.S. navy members assist to provide monoclonal antibody therapy at Denver hospital

“That is a type of occasions in your profession the place you’re at all times going to look again at what you have been doing in the course of the COVID pandemic,” mentioned Johnson, an inner drugs doctor with the Air Pressure. 

A month in the past, they arrived in Fort Collins on the peak of the COVID surge and now they’re leaving, questioning what city will want them subsequent.

“My household retains me going. I really feel like I’m doing one thing essential to guard my household additionally,” mentioned Uriarte, a surgical nurse with the Air Pressure. “My children positively take a look at the calendar on a regular basis and ask me after I’m going to be residence.”

The DOD workforce members will head out over the subsequent week. They’re able to be deployed once more wherever they’re wanted, although they’re unsure if or when that’ll occur. For now, they’ll spend a while again residence in Washington, D.C. working their day jobs as medical doctors and nurses. 

RELATED: Fort Collins hospital employees grateful for troops serving to deal with COVID sufferers

“It’s simply an on the spot connection. You must be going by way of it to grasp it,” mentioned Troy Geier, an ICU nurse with the Air Pressure. “It simply reveals us we’re all on this collectively. We’re coming from the east coast, all the way in which over right here.”

It’s not simply offering help to the hospital, it’s additionally sharing data and instructing one another about what they know. The DOD workforce has navy coaching which they shared with the medical doctors and nurses in Fort Collins. Issues like resilience and coping with stress you can’t train in a classroom.

“You possibly can really discover that the nurses on the ground are smiling extra and laughing extra. You wouldn’t see {that a} month in the past. No joke, you wouldn’t see {that a} month in the past,” mentioned Cerizo.

Now the navy help is leaving, hoping they needn’t return.  

“I hope if we do want them we will ask them to return again,” Cerizo mentioned laughing. “I hope it’s that simple. I don’t know.”


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