NC nurse returns home after helping at NYC hospital for 6 weeks during COVID-19 pandemic

North Carolina news

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A High Point mother of three returned home safely this past week after spending six weeks in a busy New York emergency room.

Bevin Strickland is a registered nurse studying anesthesiology at UNCG’s School of Nursing. She arrived home Monday night after working as a travel nurse in Mount Sinai’s Queens Emergency Room.

RELATED: NC nurse describes shifts in NYC amid COVID-19 pandemic: ‘It’s a nightmare’

“I will always volunteer to help, but I never want to take care of patients in that scenario again, I never want to have to,” Strickland said.

Strickland traveled to New York City after seeing the need for health care professionals in area hospitals.

“It was very easy to think about my family or myself having to be one of those patients, and if anybody saw that, they wouldn’t take a chance,” she said.

Covered in personal protective equipment, she explained that it was difficult caring for patients who were afraid and alone.

She said that experience in the ER would be one that stayed with her.

“Anything we can do to reduce that vulnerability of making them feel safe, I’m just going to work as hard as I can in every situation to do that,” Strickland said.

She said during her last two weeks of her time in the ER, the number of patients began to slow and staffers were able to take a moment to celebrate the patients who recovered and were able to go home.

Strickland said that throughout her time at the ER, she donated paychecks to help families struggling to pay for funerals due to coronavirus deaths, something she felt compelled to do.

“The most beautiful thing to me and I saw it in NY every day and I felt it from social media and from my family and friends was people wanting so much to support other people,” she said.

Strickland’s twin sons said they were grateful that their mother returned safely. She tested negative for COVID-19 before returning home.

“She definitely taught me you shouldn’t let anything stop you, she knew when she went to New York how bad it was there,” Samuel Talamantes said.

Strickland expects that adjusting back to life in High Point will take some time, noticing Tuesday that masks weren’t required in stores.

“I know they’re limiting the number of people that come in the store, but they’re not requiring masks. Everywhere in New York, you can’t set foot in a store, inside anywhere to get takeout or whatever unless you’re wearing a mask,” she said.

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