'Think about us' - ICU nurse pleads for public to get vaccinated, quickly

One ICU nurse explains why her job became more than just treating sick patients, and why it's so important for everyone who can to get vaccinated.

News 12 Staff

Aug 26, 2021, 10:30 PM

Updated 966 days ago

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Health care workers are no strangers to suffering and death, especially those in critical care units. But many front-line workers will tell you that COVID-19 is different.
One ICU nurse explains why her job became more than just treating sick patients, and why it's so important for everyone who can to get vaccinated.
Working in critical care at Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center, registered nurse Jordan Mento deals in life and death every day. But during the pandemic, life and death took on new meaning.
"Everyone in our unit was on a ventilator. They were on breathing tube and on full life support," Mento said. "It was very personal. I held the hand of too many people when they were taking their last breath."
Nurses like Mento became more than medical provider; they were a patient advocate, support system, and a stand-in for family -- all while petrified for their own families and health.
"It was so emotionally draining. Our patients - we were their voices... We were having to make major decisions, goal decisions, end of life decisions. We were telling people their loved one passed away on Zoom," she said.
Vaccines brought hope to health care -- providers were exhausted but getting back to a sense of their new normalcy. But now the Delta variant and people who still won't get the shot, leave a dark cloud of 'what if.'
"I'm hopeful that people will think about people other than themselves. Think about neighbors, friends, family. And think about us. Because you may not get a vaccine - but if you end up in the hospital on a ventilator, I'm still going to give you care and take care of you," Mento said.
She adds her ICU is now seeing more young people with the delta variant, along with many people who put off coming in for other treatment during the pandemic.


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