OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Many Oklahomans have put themselves on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. In fact, some are not just here in our state, but are fighting to save lives across the country.
KFOR has been keeping up with one local nurse who has been working in New York City for two weeks now. We first spoke with Kym Langford after she worked two overnight shifts.
Now, she has worked 14 overnight shifts.
“There’s lots of nights where I would just cry and think, ‘What am I doing here? This seems way out of my comfort zone. It’s too much stress, too much death.’ It’s just hard,” said Langford.
She is two weeks into her 21-day stretch in New York City.
“Supposedly, there’s a decline in the number of patients coming to the emergency department. However, our hospital is busting at the seams still,” she said.
Although she’s dealing with some tough circumstances, Langford says she’s seen a little bit of relief over the past two days.
More nurses have been deployed to New York, allowing her to care for fewer patients, going from having 11 patients to six.
“I’m able to provide the care I want to provide instead of just running around like a crazy nurse, I guess,” she laughed. “The other night, a patient tried to give me $20 because I was taking such good care of him and I, of course, I couldn’t take that but he just really appreciated someone taking care of him.”
Even though manpower is up, they’re still struggling with a shortage of personal protective equipment.
Langford says some nurses are still wearing their N-95 masks for five days at a time.
Luckily, friends back here at home have been sending her ones they find, so she only has to wear hers two or three days at a time.
Ventilators are also still few and far between.
“I feel like a lot of times we run out of PPE and we have to go to other floors and look for stuff,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of ventilators and so I know tonight when we were talking about a couple patients, I remember one of the head doctors saying we have one ventilator left.”
She’s also still dealing and coping with the heartbreak of losing patients every day.
“When a code happens, you hear it. It’s broadcast throughout the hospital and those are several a night,” said Langford.
Langford says it’s not all bad news.
In her two weeks in New York, she’s seen multiple recoveries.
“I would go home in the morning and think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to come back tonight and I don’t know if that person is going to make it and they’re on a lot of oxygen and they’re not doing well.’ And then I come back, and they’re doing so much better. Then the next day, they go home,” she said.
She’s hopeful that it will continue to trend in a positive direction.
On top of COVID-19 positive patients, Langford is also taking care of trauma patients that she usually would, like those who have severe injuries.
She is considering staying an extra couple of weeks since the need there is so great. Whenever she does get home, she will self quarantine for two weeks.