Local frontline nurses check-in on progress 14 months into pandemic for National Nurses Week

DAYTON — Fourteen months into the global pandemic, nurses on the frontline are celebrated during National Nurses Week.

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell caught up with nurses he spoke to in the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic and learned what improvements they have seen since then.

“As sick as these patients were, it was something new for me definitely,” said Amie Ballachino, a nurse on the Neuro intensive care floor. “It was constant, anywhere you turned, someone was sick, someone was needing help.”

Rachel Roberts, who is also normally on the Neuro intensive care floor, has been working COVID floors with Ballachino for the past 14 months.

Both Ballachino and Roberts said depending on their family and their fellow workers was what kept them going.

“Knowing how much each of us needed to be there to pull through together,” Roberts said.

She said through this pandemic, it became clear how much each nurse was needed, there could be no missing links in this patient care chain.

Both nurses said there are signs of progress, such as going from six COVID units of patients to just one.

A few lingering concerns for the nurses are that the age of COVID patients is getting younger. People in their 20′s and 30′s appear to be coming in for care.

Despite this global pandemic, both nurses continue to find the joy in what they do.

“We aren’t just taking care of patients we were taking care of their families too, they had no idea what was going on,” Ballachino said.

More than 20 groups and organizations have donated lunches, dinners and treats as a way of saying thank you for those that went through dark days.

“It is very nice that the community is showing us so much support,” Ballachino said.

“Seeing people understand more what our role is and what we really do on a day to day basis, it means a lot to have that support,” Roberts said.