TULSA, Okla. — Green Country nurses answer the call for help up north. Their skills are needed for the COVID-19 response in New York and New Jersey.
Tierney Plasencia is one of the registered nurses to travel from Tulsa to NYC. She completed her first week Friday.
Plasencia said, “I had to quit my job at St. Francis. I was hoping they would let me keep my job at St. Francis, but they wouldn’t let me. I became a nurse to help people who needed it the most. That’s New York, right now. I would hope that if the time comes, that it gets this bad in Tulsa, people would come help us.”
Friday was her first day in the intensive care unit of Mount Sinai Hospital. Despite completing training sessions, Plasencia said nothing could prepare her mentally and emotionally.
“Every single patient in my unit is a COVID patient. They’re all on ventilators. The rooms are made for one patient, every room has two patients. We have some patients sharing a vent, which is unheard of,” Plasencia said.
Most of her patients are sedated, which does not stop her from talking to them.
“I talk to all my patients and tell them what I’m doing, but the only feedback we get is through their vital signs and labs,” Plasencia said.
Plasencia’s view outside work is a tented field hospital set up in Central Park.
She is scheduled to return home at the end of May, though her contract could be extended.
Since she had to let go of her former job with the St. Francis Health System, she has no plans of where she will go next.
Plasencia said St. Francis is also requiring her to pay back an $11,000 sign-on bonus, despite being three months away from her end-of-contract when she left to New York City.
2 Works for You asked a St. Francis representative about the situation and was told they are unable to comment.
Nurses from Hillcrest Medical Center are also helping. One is in New York City and three others are in New Jersey working for Hackensack Meridian Health. Gary Adair returns home on April 22. Candi Mohn and Danielle Kapple return April 21.
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