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Riley nurses volunteer to help COVID patients at Lafayette hospital

Posted at 10:28 AM, Jan 13, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s no secret medical workers are stretched thin during this pandemic. Now some pediatric nurses are stepping up to help adult patients in other hospitals.

Pediatric Nurse Kayla Meeks is one of the nurses volunteering for a six-week stint away from Riley Children’s Hospital to help adults at IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette.

"It's just, it's unlike anything I've ever really experienced,” said Meeks in a video diary she sent to WRTV.

Right now, she’s spending only two to three days at Arnett and the other two at Riley. She said she volunteered to help care for adult COVID-19 patients because "The healthcare system is just overwhelmed."

Meeks and other nurses from Riley are there to ease nurses' workload in the COVID-19 unit.

"Nurses are literally Rockstars. I mean, they've been taking multiple, multiple COVID patients on a daily basis, like every shift that they have for months now,” said Meeks.

Meeks says the nurses are taking care of nearly double the patients than a normal year, and nurses at Arnett appreciate the extra help.

"They are just always so thankful. Like, immediately their response is, 'thank you so much for coming,'" said Meeks.

Even though Meeks works with children mainly, she is also certified as a critical care nurse. That means she’s able to step up and help fill a void in medical care.

Meeks said, "People are getting Covid, and so there are nurses that are out. And there is nursing burn out. So, we kind of have come in and have been able to relive just some gaps too."

The demand for nurses gives everyone a glimpse into the state of our current medical crisis. Meeks said she believes her work at Arnett is also more important because sometimes people come to that hospital from rural areas.

"Cause Delphi and all of those smaller communities, those are where a lot of those patients are coming from,” said Meeks. "You see a lot of different realms; you see a lot of different types of sick."

Now, these healthcare workers are working together to help the community make it through this pandemic.

"It's like it's really awesome because it shows how healthcare workers can adapt to whatever we need to go to,” said Meeks.