Lowcountry nurse reflects on working in New York during COVID-19

Local News

Charleston, S.C. – WCBD – April Gilliard is a Charleston nurse who just finished working her third week in a New York hospital.

Gilliard said the conditions in New York are nothing like Charleston has seen.

“I thought I had mentally prepared for what I was going to see but I don’t think anybody could have mentally prepared for what was going on,” said Gilliard.

Gilliard says the hospital were running out of room for the patients needing treatment.

“It looked just like a war zone. It was wartime nursing at its finest,” said Gilliard.

The number of patients coming in to the hospital and needing to be admitted is going down, but Gilliard says it is far from over.

“We still have patients there that are needing to be admitted upstairs for a hospital bed some that are very sick. Some of them don’t make it upstairs so they’re there with us until you know that time comes.”

While many nurses are being furloughed here in Charleston due to the low number of patients coming in to the hospitals, Gillaird says in New York they are being praised for providing relief for the over worked nurses there.

“They’re thankful. I’m telling you everyday they’re thanking us that we’re there.”

Gilliard said she has been provided the appropriate equipment and protection to do her job safely but the risk of exposure is still high.

“There have been a good bit of the nurses that have gotten sick so they’ve been diagnosed with the COVID-19 and had to quarantine at home. A few of them did not make it so it’s been tough up here,” said Gilliard.

April Gilliard’s original contract would be ending next week. She has been asked to extend that by a few more weeks.

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