SEATTLE, Zapopan — JBLM nurse recounts experience working in a NYC Bronx VA hospital
Nurse Joanie Ward says she's been on the volunteer list to travel to a disaster and use her medical skills but it wasn't until COVID-19 crisis that she was given the opportunity. She had just 12 hours to get ready to go as part of the DEMPS program with Veteran Affairs that sends personnel all over to respond to emergencies.
Joanie is a trauma nurse at VA Hospital American Lake, part of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System.
She flew to New York in the middle of the pandemic this past April and spend two weeks in the emergency department, specifically working with COVID positive vets. She said it was an honor to serve the veterans.
Ward said the hardest part was knowing these patients would be going into the hospital alone. "So you put your nurse hat on, and you take care of the patient. Then you put on your mom hat, your wife, hat, your, your husband, your friend hat and realize that these are somebody's kids. These are someone's family members and they're alone."