COLORADO SPRINGS — As Nurse Appreciation Week comes to an end tomorrow, some local nurses are opening up about how pandemic has brought on many challenges for front line workers.
The past year has been unlike any other year for the more than 450 nurses at Children's Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs. Two nurses told News5 it's been all about resiliency and staying strong while working on the front lines.
"As a nurse, I think it's important to tap into your resources with resilience, no matter if you're taking care of pediatrics or adults patients," said Lana Martin, who's been a nurse for 28 years.
"But I couldn't be happier in the job role that I have. I think that we all have a passion for taking care of kids, and providing that inclusive care."
Martin is also the pediatric trauma program manager at the hospital, and she says she treated more injuries in the past year during the pandemic.
"Kids were out playing, they were on trampolines, they were on bicycles, and they were doing things that kids do on a day-to-day basis that cause injury," said Martin.
In February, Martin received an award from the CDPHE for her work in helping trauma programs across southern Colorado. For nurse appreciation week, she's also one of the many nurses being recognized.
"It's just heartwarming to know that we're able to provide such a service to the kids and the families in the community," said Martin.
Meanwhile Kathie Seerup stepped into her position as the chief nursing officer at the hospital in September 2020, and she says in the past year has been a unique.
"It's been very challenging, not just through pediatrics, but for every person seeking healthcare during this pandemic. We've been anxious and nervous, because we just had no idea what the pandemic would bring us," said Seerup.
As a pediatric nurse for 35 years, Seerup also said her role looked a lot different during the pandemic.
"The adjustments that we've had to make in our practice, and how we've been able to assure that we're meeting the needs of children and their families," said Seerup, who also mentioned the past year has been all about staying strong, "and resiliency, of not just the healthcare workers who are the heroes here, but for every person, we have to maintain that resilience so we can all get through this year and be better on the end."
Nurse appreciation week ends Wednesday, May 12. Something else to mark on your calendar is National Hospital Week. Hundreds of hospital employees at the Children's Hospital are also being honored for their hard work. There's a theme for every day of the week.
May is also Trauma Awareness Month, and the hospital is partnering with Safe Kids Colorado Springs for efforts addressing bicycle safety and wearing helmets, child passenger safety programs and stop-the-bleed programs.