ROCHESTER, N.Y. — COVID-19 has affected people’s daily lives in many ways. Businesses closed, people were told to stay home and they had to wear masks everywhere they went. It changed how people worked, enjoyed their free time and interacted with one another.
More than 194,000 cases of the virus have been reported in Monroe County since it recorded its first case three years ago this month. Spectrum News 1 spoke with a nurse at Rochester General Hospital who was part of the team that treated Rochester’s first COVID patient.
“We took some of our care practices and really learned throughout the pandemic as we grew from what we knew from the unknown and really created health care practices that would care for what we had now,” said nurse Elizabeth Duxbury. “I would hold the hand of a patient as they are talking on video with their family. Most of the world stayed home, healthcare had to come every day with hands-on care through all of it.”
Duxbury has been a nurse at RGH for seven years. She had the support of her husband and kids to get her through many tough days, but there is someone else who continues to keep her strong today — her nana.
“I work to make sure that all of the staff around us have the tools that they need to be able to provide optimal care so that the patients get the best care that they can and have the best outcome that they would want for themselves,” she said.
“Before the pandemic, I probably wouldn’t be as emotional as I am, but I know that a lot of the strength that I have today to continue, and persevere through it all also comes from her as well as everyone else around me,” Duxbury added.
Duxbury also talked about how she and her co-workers took care of themselves while treating patients and what the medical industry has learned over the last three years.
“We still have COVID today, it’s still around us,” she said. “We still treat patients with it and we have very similar things from the first day that we cared for our patients. It is good to know that the way that we initially evolved is continuing how we are doing that evolution now, being able to maintain a safe environment for the patient, their family, their friends and ourselves.”
Duxbury says Rochester General Hospital is welcoming new nurses if anyone would like to apply.