Voices From the Front Lines: Amy Lloyd, RN, Intensive Care Unit, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Hazleton
BY TED WILLIAMS
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, none more so than those working on the front lines of this crisis – our health care heroes. Voices From the Front Lines is a series of interviews with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) health care providers who are working to care for patients who are ill with COVID-19, as well as those who are dedicated to helping prevent the spread of this virus.
Amy Lloyd has been a nurse at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Hazleton for 30 years, starting as a nurse’s aide at 19. She graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in biology but could not find work in her field. She returned to LVH–Hazleton as a nurse’s aide in the intensive care unit (ICU), then took the next steps in becoming a registered nurse. Along the way, she realized working in the ICU and helping patients was where she belonged.
What is every day like during the COVID-19 crisis?
It has reinforced the importance of having patience and making sure I’m thoroughly covered with personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely take care of our COVID-19 patients.
What’s inspired you? What is a defining moment during this?
There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing our COVID-19 patients recover and walk out the doors to their families. It’s really something to see.
What have you learned about yourself or your team?
I’ve seen the entire hospital work together during this crisis. Everyone in the ICU really appreciates every bit of help we’ve received. All of us always know our co-workers are there to jump in if they’re needed.
What are your rituals to keep you and your family safe?
All of us have pretty much adopted the same routine when we go home – shoes off in the garage; go straight to the shower; scrubs immediately go into the washer. To help me keep to this routine, my husband has the shower on when I get home, and he hands me a washcloth as I walk in the door. I’m careful to maintain immune support and get plenty of rest. I believe vitamin C also is important to staying healthy.
What words of advice or encouragement do you have for health care employees or the community?
I encourage every person to take care of yourself so your body can take care of you. Do everything you can to support your immune system.
Are there any other thoughts you’d like to share about this experience or about the resilience of patients?
Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 will tell you this is no “little flu.” Do not take the precautions against getting this virus lightly. If you get COVID-19, it involves a lengthy and difficult recovery, so prevention is key.
For more Voices From the Front Lines, please visit LVHN.org/COVIDSTRONG.