‘We are at ground zero’: News 12 talks with 2 critical care nurses at Hackensack University Medical Center

It's hard to fathom what health care workers are going through right now, especially in New Jersey's epicenter for coronavirus cases, Bergen County.

News 12 Staff

Apr 3, 2020, 9:54 AM

Updated 1,571 days ago

Share:

It's hard to fathom what health care workers are going through right now, especially in New Jersey's epicenter for coronavirus cases, Bergen County. News 12 talked with two critical care nurses at Hackensack University Medical Center to give people a better idea.
PHOTOS: The Impact of Coronavirus Across the World
undefined
“Where Kelly and I are right now, we are in the intensive care unit,” says Dina Martorana. “We are at ground zero. We were the first unit to take on all of these COVID patients, and I have to say honestly, that the majority of our patients are all on ventilators.”
VIRUS TRACKER: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut coronavirus cases and deaths 
MORE: LIVE BLOG - Coronavirus updates from the tri-state area and beyond
MORE: New Jersey Coronavirus Dashboard 
FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus Pandemic


Question: “Did you ever think that you would see so many critical care patients at the same time, suffering from the same illness in the ICU/CCU?”

“I don't think anyone could have predicted the number of critical care patients we're taking care of at this moment,” says Kelly Innamorato. “They just keep coming and it seems like there's no end in sight.”
Full Interview: Hackensack University Medical Center critical care nurses
 PHOTOS: Scenes of eerie calm amid coronavirus pandemic
undefined
Question: “Kelly, it must be unbelievably painful to speak to the family members and know that they can't come and see their loved ones.”

“The pain that they must be feeling to not be at the bedside, I just took a phone call from someone asking what happens if they're going to die,” says Innamorato. “'Am I going to find out? Am I going to be able to come and see them? We don't want them to die alone.' I said, of course, we wouldn't want that either, but this is what families are struggling with. Their loved ones are alone, without anyone by their bedside to hold their hand and comfort them, and for us to have to try the best we can to comfort them over the phone the best we can is very difficult."

Question: “Dina, how much of a toll is this taking on you, and on Kelly, and on all of the nurses and critical care workers? Dealing with this day in and day out, bringing home, to your own households, and your own families?"
MORE: Your Coronavirus Photos
undefined
“It's incredibly difficult that my husband and I have to bring this home to them,” says Martorana. “Believe me, there are sometimes when you're on your way home and you just break down and cry, and it's OK. It's OK to do that because this is not a natural situation. This is not normal.”
The good news is that Martorana says she is seeing improvement in patients, and wants to reassure the community that we are going to get through this.


More from News 12
3:06
Prosecutor: Driver killed in tractor-trailer explosion on Route 3 in Clifton

Prosecutor: Driver killed in tractor-trailer explosion on Route 3 in Clifton

2:36
Cloudy and rainy start to the week; conditions clear by the weekend

Cloudy and rainy start to the week; conditions clear by the weekend

Police: Man faces charges for cutting head off seagull at the Jersey Shore

Police: Man faces charges for cutting head off seagull at the Jersey Shore

0:22
Wife of New York Yankees executive dies after being found unresponsive at home

Wife of New York Yankees executive dies after being found unresponsive at home

Senate Ethics Committee starts review of Sen. Bob Menendez's conduct following bribery conviction

Senate Ethics Committee starts review of Sen. Bob Menendez's conduct following bribery conviction

0:43
Officials: Firefighter injured battling house fire in Bayonne

Officials: Firefighter injured battling house fire in Bayonne

1:13
‘Palpable excitement.’ Rep. Sherrill expresses support for VP Harris’ presidential campaign

‘Palpable excitement.’ Rep. Sherrill expresses support for VP Harris’ presidential campaign

2:34
What are the next steps for Democrats as Biden drops out of 2024 presidential race?

What are the next steps for Democrats as Biden drops out of 2024 presidential race?

0:44
Repair Café holds repairing event at Jersey City church this past weekend

Repair Café holds repairing event at Jersey City church this past weekend

1:44
‘Too old.’ ‘A surprise.’ ‘It’s mature.’ New Jersey residents react to Biden’s decision to step down

‘Too old.’ ‘A surprise.’ ‘It’s mature.’ New Jersey residents react to Biden’s decision to step down

0:43
Officials: 1 woman hospitalized with burns; 2 displaced in Elizabeth fire

Officials: 1 woman hospitalized with burns; 2 displaced in Elizabeth fire

1:44
NJ Transit commuters experience another round of delays due to Amtrak overhead wire issue

NJ Transit commuters experience another round of delays due to Amtrak overhead wire issue

1:00
What happens to Biden's campaign funds?

What happens to Biden's campaign funds?

2:18
Do you know how accurate your credit report is? Kane in Your Corner shows you how to spot, fix mistakes

Do you know how accurate your credit report is? Kane in Your Corner shows you how to spot, fix mistakes

0:19
Parking garage fire causes Stop & Shop in Union to close

Parking garage fire causes Stop & Shop in Union to close

0:39
Olympics spotlight: New Jersey athletes competing at the Paris Olympic Games

Olympics spotlight: New Jersey athletes competing at the Paris Olympic Games

1:51
Made in New Jersey: The Healing Bras provides relief during painful moments

Made in New Jersey: The Healing Bras provides relief during painful moments

0:51
Secret Service director, grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, says: 'We failed'

Secret Service director, grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, says: 'We failed'

1:00
NJ Democratic lawmakers thank President Biden for his service in wake decision to step down

NJ Democratic lawmakers thank President Biden for his service in wake decision to step down

4:22
How VP Kamala Harris could get presidential nomination after the end of Biden's reelection bid

How VP Kamala Harris could get presidential nomination after the end of Biden's reelection bid