Nursing alumni on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic
Carolyn Scott ’14 (nursing) was working at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis when officials in New York, one of the hardest-hit locations in the U.S., issued an emergency order and a plea for additional medical staff. After wrestling with the decision for several weeks, Scott, who is also licensed to practice in New York, decided to answer the call to help. She worked directly with COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Brooklyn for eight weeks while staying with an Airbnb host.
“I am so proud of all the wonderful people I had the privilege to work alongside in Indiana and New York, and all those who stepped up everywhere during the pandemic. I’m beyond grateful for all the people who encouraged me, supported me, prayed for me, and sent their love to me. It really was what got me through the dark times.
I absolutely love my profession. I love being able to care for people, and trying to help them feel better. My education at UIndy prepared me for that.”
After the first few shifts, I knew I had 100% made the right decision to go to the front lines. They NEEDED more staff; they needed reinforcements, and it felt really good to be there and hopefully take a little of the load off. As difficult as it was, I would do it again.Carolyn Scott ’14 (nursing)
Diane Berry ’12 ’20 (MSN, DNP) has worked at IU Health Methodist Hospital since 1985, and the majority of her career has been spent in the emergency department. In March, she moved to a house owned by a local church to protect her family from an increased risk of exposure.
“Nursing is truly a vocation. I think a lot of us feel that we’re not really heroes. We’re going in every day and we’re doing our job, and our job is to take care of people.”
Since St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis adopted a no-visitor policy in response to the pandemic, Tierra Nolan ’19 (nursing) has been going out of her way to update patients’ family members and help patients connect virtually with their loved ones. She’s also paying it forward through UIndy’s Pro Edge Summer 2020 Virtual Mentor Program.
“In my line of work, I am often the liaison between the patient and doctors. My nursing professors at UIndy instilled in me the importance of always advocating for my patients and ensuring that their voices are heard.”
Justin Kieffer ’17 has worked in the emergency department at Franciscan Health for more than three years. Like fellow Greyhounds, he’s risen to meet new challenges during the pandemic. He has diligently adhered to CDC guidelines to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination and says he owes this preparedness to the education he received from UIndy.
“The biggest motivator to me has been the incredible generosity of the public. The emergency department has received countless deliveries of greeting cards, meals, and personal protective equipment. These outward signs of appreciation are what motivate me to keep going.”