Nurses persevere through pandemic

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Photo / Will Veiga

The nurses can feel the toll of the pandemic still, but they persevere through it all.

Will Veiga, Writer

Throughout the pandemic, people have undergone extraordinary pressure and unexpected change. Perhaps no one has handled it better than nurses Karla Ortiz and Carmen Vela.

With the pandemic and ongoing construction around campus, Ortiz and Vela have had to cut down their workspace and deal with a new increased workload.

“Because of these circumstances, we went from having two offices to sharing one office. We also have had to start putting our equipment in the same space instead of having our own cabinets or drawers.” Vela said. These obstacles have been met by incredible resilience and hard work. COVID-19 has resulted in new health & safety protocols, more visits by students, and way more paperwork.

“We have to do health screenings, vaccination records, and people will think we only deal with COVID symptoms, but we have seen and dealt with a variety of other diseases,” Ortiz said. Ortiz and Vela have had to handle vaccination records, health screenings, and tend to other ailments without ceasing.

Although it seems overwhelming for the nurses, they work through it flawlessly, along with some help from their courtesies.

“I love the atmosphere in the nurse’s office, it’s very fun and I love that the work can vary from having to pull students to conduct health screenings, to having to bring equipment to Carmen and Karla in case of an emergency,” Courtesy Logan Randag said.

For most people, sharing an office and having to take care of hundreds of students all day would cause some frustration or anger. However, Ortiz and Vela enjoy seeing the kids back in school, the interactions they would have with students, and seeing the kids mature from freshman to senior year.

Virtual learning had deprived the nurses of the very thing that made their job fun for them.

“We love seeing all the kids back, during virtual learning our work wasn’t as fun, but with the kids back it’s been a blessing to see how they’ve grown and being able to interact with them,” Ortiz said.

If you need treatment for injuries or want to thank the nurses for their hard work and dedication to keeping the community healthy, you can visit their office in A Building!