Working on the Front Line

Article by: Theo Tate, AdVantage News, (618) 463-0612

After graduating from Granite City High School in 2001, Jill Edwards had dreams of becoming a teacher.

But when the Moro resident enrolled at Lewis and Clark Community College, those plans changed. She wanted to become a nurse.

“Nursing was kind of in the blood,” Edwards said. “My grandma was a nurse. I was scared to do it. I didn’t know if I could handle that school and I didn’t know if that’s for me. But then I kind of liked it once I was into it.”

Edwards has a total of 11 years experience as a nurse. She works at Saint Louis University Hospital in the trauma ICU unit.

“I like to help people,” Edwards said.

Now she has to help take care of patients affected by coronavirus. The trauma ICU unit was recently turned into an area for COVID-19 patients.

“I feel like SSM (Health) and Saint Louis University Hospital have done a really great job as far as being prepared,” Edwards said. “They’re doing the best that they can. Unfortunately, the virus hit the West Coast and East Coast first and kind of grew inward. So we’re able to kind of see that balloon that the coasts are having and we’re learning from that before it hits us too hard. We have not really had a PPE (personal protective equipment) challenge at our hospital. Of course, we’re being concerned with it. It’s not a crisis right now. It is a very anxious environment.”

Edwards said she cared for a COVID-19 patient who passed away.

“It was my first personal corona patient that I had,” the nurse said. “We weren’t certain that the patient was positive, so we treated everyone as being positive until we get the test results back saying they’re negative. I had that patient for a few hours and he passed away. It was very quick. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh, my gosh. This is how it’s going to be.’”

Link to article