A true hero: Pregnant nurse describes her experience working with COVID-19 patients

A nurse at Clara Maass Medical Center is working to provide aid to COVID-19 patients – all while being 7 months pregnant.

News 12 Staff

Apr 22, 2020, 3:11 AM

Updated 1,460 days ago

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A nurse at Clara Maass Medical Center is working to provide aid to COVID-19 patients – all while being 7 months pregnant.
Brianne Stewart is an emergency room nurse. She says that working in the ER is overwhelming, but she says that she has a job to do.
“It’s devastating. But we don’t process anything up here yet. We come here and we get that job done and I work with a phenomenal group of doctors and nurses. It’s the true definition of teamwork there right now,” she says.
Stewart says that part of the reason why she became a nurse is to put others before herself.
“My thought was I have to go in and have the proper PPE every day. We’re very lucky to have one of our emergency room doctors donate, out of his own pocket, those respirator masks,” she says.
Photos: The Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandemic
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Stewart says that she requested to have limited contact with COVID-19 patients so that she could keep herself and her baby safe.
“But to desert my team and to desert my patients was never ever a thought that crossed my mind, so I will be going to work as long as I physically can,” she says.
Stewart says that the ER has become the ICU and that a lot of patients have been put on to respirators to help them breathe.
“And a lot of these times these patients are dying and we watch them die. They die alone without their families to hold their hand and their families are outside in the care calling us to ask for updates,” she says.
She says that the health care staff must provide patients what they can’t get from their families.
“And that is excruciatingly painful for everyone involved, but it is an absolute privilege to be there and be with these people when they’re breathing their last breath…to be compassionate.
Stewart says she also wants to thank the outpouring of food and cards and encouragement health care workers have been getting. She says that it makes a huge difference.


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