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Head ICU nurse shares "emotional" weight frontline workers experience treating COVID patients

“Nursing is my passion so the motivation is comes naturally. Of course you get tired, you go home you rest you come back the next day ready."

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss — Well by now you’ve heard the warning – get the vaccine - and it’s an important one that could save your life. 

Whatever your hesitancies maybe, one ICU nurse wants you to listen to her experience treating COVID patients everyday.  

"I still to this day feel honored for that to be an option for me because we were smack dab in the middle of it,” said Hayley Griffiths, a head ICU nurse at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, “In the middle of something that we were unsure of.”

She was one of the first in line to take the vaccine when it became available. Now armed with more knowledge of the coronavirus and no shortage of PPE things are easier. 

She shared online how she got the vaccine to protect her grandparents. 

“They’re already getting older it’s hard to get around. ”

She knows personally about the weight on nurses and frontline workers to assist people with severe COVID symptoms  and with the delta variant surging many Baptist nurses are now working 14-15 hour shifts. 

“Nursing is my passion so the motivation is comes naturally," said Griffiths. "Of course you get tired, you go home you rest you come back the next day ready to take it head on.” 

Patient rooms of COVID victims are surrounded by glass. Many of them are young, between 20-50 years old. The nurse said the virus is affecting whole households including pregnant women. 

Griffiths shared that 95% of COVID patients that come to the hospital are unvaccinated. 

“You could say the vaccine is completely preventing COVID in some of the people that have it and you could say that for those that do get COVID its keeping them out of the hospital.”

The vaccine shot may also cause you to have milder symptoms than you otherwise would.

“Now it’s hard because we know that we have what the community needs to get 10 steps forward,” said the nurse. “It’s really hard to see these patients suffer from something that that could have helped at least a little bit.”