YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Of the patients and families we’ve talked to who’ve been directly affected by COVID-19, all of them had high praise for the hospital staff.
Heather McCowin is a director of nursing at St. Elizabeth Youngstown, overseeing the emergency room and intensive care unit.
“It’s been different,” she said. “It’s a fluid situation. It’s changing every day but we are resilient.”
St. E’s Youngstown is a level one trauma center and though dealing with COVID-19 is certainly different, the hospital was prepared.
McCowin said when the coronavirus outbreak happened, they already had a plan in place.
“We train for different crises, so different situations, mass casualty events and everything. So it’s not the exact same thing, but we always try and plan ahead and put the staff in certain scenarios as, how would we react? How is leadership going to perform? Who has what duties? So that you are more prepared if a situation occurs.”
McCowin grew up in East Palestine and now lives in Boardman. She’s been in nursing for 22 years.
“We’ve changed our workflow a little bit,” McCowin said. “We do a lot of education with our staff and just working to meet the needs of the patients that we’re seeing every day.”
People working in hospitals are being given the hero’s treatment — and they’ve noticed it.
“The staff here is so grateful,” McCowin said. “They have so much community support and they feel it, and I think that’s so important during a time like this.”
She said the staff has always been a tight team.
“But I think when you go through situations like this, you realize how close and how much support you have.”
The nurses at St. E’s are going home. They’re following guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control, practicing social distancing and covering their faces when they go out.