OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The ICU ward at Nebraska Medicine certainly isn't open to the public. In fact, it isn't even open to media due to privacy concerns.
But on Tuesday, Nebraska Medicine made it possible to get a raw look into the COVID ICU unit in order to share the stress that healthcare systems are under this month while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, via a video to document the situation.
The video, just under three minutes long, follows Rebecca Long, who is a lead nurse in the COVID ICU unit over the course of 45 minutes.
"As healthcare providers, all we want to do is help people and we can't," said Long. "Because we physically can't; we emotionally are exhausted and don't feel like we can anymore. It's hard. But I wouldn't wish this on anyone."
Long lists taxing medical procedures that she had witnessed and participated in that day such as intubation, the process of inserting a ventilator breathing tube.
She appears more numb than exasperated, even while explaining that she is usually an upbeat person who has been trying to keep morale up for coworkers.
The video shows hospital staff busy, medical machines sounding throughout, and Long answering phones and having to turn away patient transfers from other hospitals on a day when there was not a single bed available to intake other critically ill patients.
"I would just hope that no one else has to experience the things that we've been experiencing, especially lately. This is the worst I've seen it in the past year," Long said.
Long makes an open plea to others to make good choices, but emphasizes once again the perspective of the patients above her own.
"I just don't want anyone else to have to suffer. I don't want anyone else's family member or loved one to have to be in the position where we say 'we can't help you because we physically don't have the resources.' "