Continuing to Fight at the Front Lines: Part 1
Nurse educator in Australia has a close call with COVID-19; nurse mentor in Maryland provides support to medical team any way he can; stories of the effects of COVID-19.Show/Hide Transcript
HOST: This week on INC New World: in Australia, no matter how careful, healthcare workers still face unprecedented risks; meet a professional who is trying his hardest to support the nurses under his care: and meet a doctor protecting the most vulnerable population amidst this pandemic. Your INC News World starts now.[VIDEO ENDS]
HOST: Welcome to INC News World, I’m Brother Michael Guerrero, coming to you still from the San Francisco Bay Area, praying that each of you watching from your own homes is staying safe during the covid-19 pandemic. As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, we see frontline workers, especially those working in hospitals, sacrifice their own wellbeing for the sake of those who need immediate care.[ON SCREEN GRAPHICS]
As frontline healthcare workers step forward to address this epic public health challenge, their own health is threatened. HCAmag.com
HOST: We go over to Sydney, Australia, where we meet a clinical nurse educator who’s been working in the field as a healthcare professional for the last 6 years, and she tells us first hand how it feels to be surrounded by this pandemic everyday. Adara Pineda has the story.[VIDEO START]
RAELENE QUINTO (CLINICAL NURSE EDUCATOR – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): Many of the staff members broke down in tears, they were crying. It’s something that we couldn’t control. And it was quite a scary experience.
ADARA PINEDA: Raelene Quinto, a clinical nurse educator in Sydney, Australia, is one of many who continue to work everyday with other frontline healthcare professionals.
RAELENE QUINTO (CLINICAL NURSE EDUCATOR – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): As a clinical nurse educator, my responsibility is to teach the staff members so that’s all the nurses, all the multidisciplinary team such as the medical doctors and the interns, as well.
ADARA PINEDA: And everyday in the frontline, they are constantly facing extreme danger.
RAELENE QUINTO (CLINICAL NURSE EDUCATOR – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): We had a patient come in, for a regular procedure, and before they do get the procedure done, we do screen them on admission. And because of what’s happening at the moment with the pandemic outbreak, we have to ask them specific questions such as, have they recently traveled overseas in the last 14 days, have they currently or are they currently feeling unwell, and whether or not they have been exposed to someone who has been deemed positive with covid. So the patient, she denied everything. She said that she was fine, that she hasn’t recently traveled. Going down the track, she was sent inside the operating room. And prior to that she was reassessed once again, as per our protocol. That was when we discovered that she did have a high temperature. And she also showed signs and symptoms of a dry cough. There and then she did admit to us that she recently came back from a cruise. And that cruise ship per se, had a total number of, at least, I think 50 covid positive patients.
ADARA PINEDA: By not telling the truth, the patient had put the entire hospital at risk.
RAELENE QUINTO (CLINICAL NURSE EDUCATOR – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): Once we did find out that she may potentially be carrying the virus, caused a lot of hysterics with all the healthcare professionals. They had to fast track pretty much all the results because if it turned out to be positive, then that’s 20 healthcare staff members down, 20 frontliners down, from any potential outbreak or any potential crisis that may happen within the hospital. At that point in time, I know that a lot of people were not able to think straight.
ADARA PINEDA: But in such an urgent and extreme situation, she knows who to run to.
RAELENE QUINTO (CLINICAL NURSE EDUCATOR – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): During my day, even if I’m so stressed out, what I will try and do is use a small portion of my time to actually bow down my head and pray, to thank God. That is basically my sense of energy, when I actually do go to work, knowing that we do have a God that is taking care of us despite what’s happening in the world. We do have God to call upon, to pray upon.
ADARA PINEDA: Thankfully, the result of that patient came back negative, but there are no certainties that an occurrence like this can’t happen again.
RAELENE QUINTO (INC MEMBER – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): There is just so much levels of uncertainty when it comes to going to work, it’s scary.
ADARA PINEDA: And for healthcare professionals, the danger is not just in the workplace but even when they’re returning home to their family.
RAELENE QUINTO (CLINICAL NURSE EDUCATOR – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): My fear in regards to what’s happening at this very moment is potentially that I may be carrying something that is life threatening to my family and friends. Sometimes I’m hesitant to even greet my parents or give them a hug.
ADARA PINEDA: But as a family, and as members of the Church Of Christ, despite any fear they feel, they hold on to something even more valuable.
RAELENE QUINTO (INC MEMBER – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): There was one point that my whole family was worried. But it’s reassuring that even the lessons that we are listening to, or that we are receiving from the Church Administration gives us that reassurance that all we need to do, as well as take care of our health and well being is to have complete faith and trust in God that this is His plan. And as well as that to always be prayerful. You know, one thing that I’m thankful for is that we have this modern technology that despite what’s happening in the world was still able to receive worship services through video streaming, which is just so heartwarming, most especially in times of trials that the world is going through and what people are going through personally in their lives. It’s so nice to hear. It’s so nice to be able to still listen to the teachings of God.
ADARA PINEDA: And while this plague continues to affect the world, these heroes at the frontlines will continue to serve and protect others.
RAELENE QUINTO (INC MEMBER – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA): There’s sometimes a part of us as healthcare professionals, we just want to stay at home, because we know that’s the safest place for us to be. But supermarket workers, police, government officials, we still need to go to work to protect this country. We still need to go to work to ensure that we’re providing the needs of the wider community. And all I can say is that those people who are able to work from home, they’re lucky. So the best thing that I can say is stay at home, it can save a life.
ADARA PINEDA: These front line workers are sacrificing so much for us. We salute all of them for braving the storm and thank them for their service. To hear more stories about faith and heroism in the face of this pandemic, continue to visit incmedia.org/incnewsworld. Adara Pineda; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network.[VIDEO END]
HOST: As we honor and thank the healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, we have to acknowledge the support staff among them, including people like clinical nurse mentors, which hold[CONTINUED IN GRAPHICS] [ON SCREEN GRAPHICS]
the vocation of being a mentor and the responsibility for preparing “good professionals” … the engine that drives nurses to carry out this work with dedication and professionalism. Invest Educ Inform
HOST: We meet one such mentor who is trying his best to support the nurse staff under his care, through some of the hardest moments of their professional careers. Naomi De La Cruz has the details.[VIDEO START]
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: JR Macabulos is a clinical nurse mentor at a hospital in Virginia.
JR MACABULOS (CLINICAL NURSE MENTOR): It’s called professional development, that’s where my position is in. And, we’re like the inbetween of leadership and frontline staff and then there’s me, putting out the fires.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: On a normal day, the fires he would be putting out are among newly graduated nurses.
JR MACABULOS (CLINICAL NURSE MENTOR): Usually the worry is “I don’t know how to do this,” or “I’m scared because I just started”. Or “I just started”, or anything like that. But now it’s more of like, “I’m scared for my life. I’m scared for my family.”
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: As the corona virus spread across the region, nurses are feeling the anxiety of dealing with a highly infectious disease.
JR MACABULOS (CLINICAL NURSE MENTOR): I had a nurse, she was stressed out, she had a covid patient. You know, we’re all starting to get covid patients and we all are in the same predicament: I have kids, I have parents at home, why do I have to go in?
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: Even though he’s normally assigned a leadership and support role, JR too has had to take on additional responsibilities.
JR MACABULOS (CLINICAL NURSE MENTOR): Sometimes I charge nurse a unit, it can be as big as 16 beds or 56 beds so that’s what I was doing yesterday. So I actually have to go into the covid rooms sometimes. I try to minimize it of course, as much as I can but it’s inevitable at this rate. It’s getting, it’s scary, it’s getting worse needless to say.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: While the fear may be inevitable, JR continues to offer support to the nurses in his care.
JR MACABULOS (CLINICAL NURSE MENTOR): I had one nurse, she wasn’t a new graduate nurse, she was more experienced than me, she was in front of her covid-19 patient door, closed, gowned up, masked and all that. And she was ready, almost like she was going to surgery and she was just staring at the door so I approached her and I was like “Hey do you need anything can I help you?” And then she was just, “No I’m just reflecting.” And I didn’t have a response, professionally. Human to human, oh my goodness, my heart was breaking for her.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: Understanding that his own mental health, and spiritual health is closely tied together, JR makes sure to take care of himself.
JR MACABULOS (CLINICAL NURSE MENTOR): I actually took a whole day, it was actually last Thursday. Yes, I’m the leader, but my anxiety was almost through the roof. I can wind down, reset, and then I have worship service later on that day so I decided to take that day. And that just happened, that was just last Thursday. We’re all human, we’re all gonna experience those emotions we’re not, I’m not saying we’re not gonna get anxious, we’re all there it’s just a matter of what kind of faith do you have?
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: His is a level of compassion, and faith, shared amongst his mother, also a nurse, and two siblings who are also nurses. His desire to go into healthcare goes far back into his childhood.
JR MACABULOS (CLINICAL NURSE MENTOR): I went into healthcare solely because of my grandmother actually. She was comatose for 5 and a half years. And she passed away right after I graduated high school so that’s when I chose the nursing path because I was so exposed to all of that. She was what we would call a total care patient and I made a promise that I would fulfill and complete nursing because of her and it only makes it better because my family is in healthcare.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: And this professional whose job it is to support others, can pinpoint exactly who it is that supports him.
JR MACABULOS (CLINICAL NURSE MENTOR): I could probably not be able to go to work if I felt like I had no faith. That’s my armor almost literally. Before I go inside the room, like yes I have my physical armor but I mean ultimately I have my faith as my armor that I trust and believe, and I pray and I worship that God will keep me safe. And that’s how I try to go about my day throughout the day.
NAOMI DE LA CRUZ: JR is one of the countless healthcare workers on the frontlines against covid-19 whom we thank, and acknowledge. Stay tuned on INC News World to see more stories of how healthcare professionals around the world are responding to the crisis. Naomi De La Cruz; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network.[VIDEO END]
HOST: Our parents and grandparents, the ones who raised and took care of us, are now the ones in dire need of our care during this global pandemic, because they are the ones most vulnerable to covid-19. Some recent statistics reveal that[CONTINUED IN GRAPHICS] [ON SCREEN GRAPHICS]
the elderly are the hardest hit by the disease, accounting for about 80% of fatal cases in China and the U.S., according to CDC data. NPR.org
HOST: But let’s head to Orange County, California to meet a physician who shares her accounts of the great measures taken to care for the elderly. Richie Ferrera has the details.[VIDEO START]
RICHIE FERRERA: Growing up, Dr. Espiritu always considered being a doctor.
DR. HERSCHEL ESPIRITU (BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA): Being a doctor was always in the back of my mind. Because I think my love for science and helping others, it was a good marriage.
DR. HERSCHEL ESPIRITU (BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA): Even if I’m busy I still try to set aside time to do things like this. We were doing like health fairs, where we just check your blood pressure and all that stuff. Visiting, like, elderly communities.
NEWS REPORTS: Health officials say older adults are twice as likely to contract a serious illness from the virus than anyone else. Those that live in long term care facilities are among the most vulnerable.
DR. HERSCHEL ESPIRITU (BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA): Imagine having your mom at a facility for weeks and suddenly, you can’t send her food, you can’t send her new clothes, you can’t see how she’s doing.
RICHIE FERRERA: To defend this vulnerable community against the pandemic, Dr. Espiritu, along with so many other healthcare workers are taking extreme measures.
DR. HERSCHEL ESPIRITU (BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA): Since social distancing is happening we had to switch to a lot of telemedicine. Instead of seeing a patient face-to-face, especially, so for a lot of chronic things like falling under blood pressure or following up on you know their diabetes or you know have a question or even their anxiety. We’ve had to change even how our patients come in so they can’t even come in through the front door. We’ve had to have them come through a back door directly to, like, a specific room you know because after that patient’s been in that room we have to decontaminate it, nobody can go in for two hours.
RICHIE FERRERA: Along with these extreme measures Dr. Espiritu recognizes that knowledge and information is also a strong tool to guard the elderly community from illness.
DR. HERSCHEL ESPIRITU (BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA): We will share information and the knowledge and research, latest research, that we’ve heard. We have like, with each other, like, this is what we know about COVID,we know how it spreads that way that we’re all informed.
RICHIE FERRERA: Dr. Espiritu even shares her knowledge directly to the community, taking questions and helping provide crucial insights on Q&A sessions on the radio.
INC RADIO HOST: Is this fact or fiction.
DR. HERSCHEL ESPIRITU (BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA): This is fiction, brother. So, the heat hasn’t prevented covid from going to countries that are warmer. We don’t really expect it to go away with the summer months. Places like Singapore which is pretty warm, they already have cases.
RICHIE FERRERA: And In a few days, Dr. Espiritu will be transitioning from geriatrics to join her colleagues in the front lines in the ER and the Intensive Care Unit.
DR. HERSCHEL ESPIRITU (BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA): I’m not gonna lie, it’s scary. There’s times where I’m like, I don’t know what to expect. And I don’t know if you know because I have asthma, I don’t know what’s gonna happen to me if I get exposed to it. And I don’t know how long this is going to be and it’s very easy to be anxious.
RICHIE FERRERA: While Dr. Espiritu will use her experience and knowledge to help fight against this pandemic, she finds her confidence and comfort in the words of God preached during worship services in the Church Of Christ now streaming through the internet.
DR. HERSCHEL ESPIRITU (BUENA PARK, CALIFORNIA): I’m really glad that God blesses us with internet because I can’t imagine what it would be like without worship service because that’s where I get my strength, that’s where I get the words of God. I’ve been blessed with those experiences. And I think that’s all the more that I recognize that literally God is in everything.
RICHIE FERRERA: Dr. Herschel is not alone. She fights this pandemic alongside so many brave and selfless healthcare workers in the front lines. But she’s also joined by members of the Church Of Christ who find comfort and confidence in the words of God. If you’re looking for the same comfort and confidence found in God’s words, go to incmedia.org. If you have a specific question, hit the red question tab on the top right corner where you’ll find the answers you’ve been looking for. Richie Ferrera; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network; Orange County, California.[VIDEO END]
HOST: In the continuation of this week’s episode of INC News World: see how a young family faces quarantine in Las Vegas; a home garden has a new meaning in time of panic-buying; and meet another local congregation of the Church Of Christ. More stories coming soon on INC News World.