Cierra Landon graduated from the Kellogg Community College Nursing Program in 2017, and today she works as a registered nurse in the surgical area at Vascular Health Center in Battle Creek.
Landon works with patients through the entire surgical process — from preparation through recovery — and is one of the millions of nurses in the U.S. working under the unprecedented stresses and limitations imposed by the current coronavirus outbreak.
A former nurse in the intensive care unit at Bronson Battle Creek, Landon said her work no longer places her on the front line of nurses dealing with infected patients. But like many other organizations, her office has felt coronavirus impacts through shortages of personal protective equipment and the concerns that come along with them.
“We tried to order face masks two to three weeks ago and were put on a waiting list. We were 734th on that list because the demand so far exceeds the supply. It’s scary,” Landon said. “And my old unit and those around the country are struggling to protect themselves, which puts their families and the general public at risk as well.”
Landon said the situation brings her back to discussions in the Nursing Program about topics like military triage, where medical providers had to make hard decisions about treatment at a time of limited resources.
“Who gets a ventilator is a real question these days,” she said. “That is not the nursing anyone thinks they will ever have to work in.”
Landon said she worries about nurses and other medical providers, particularly those who are on the front lines, suffering from PTSD once the pandemic passes. Professionals who may have had to watch a patient die without family by their side because of restrictions, or trying to protect themselves and their families so they don’t get sick and have to go to the hospital alone themselves.
“These are real things, and nothing can prepare a human being who was made to care for others for a pandemic like this,” Landon said. “We are fortunate in the U.S. because we have advanced medicine and we had a forewarning having already seen how it impacted Italy and China weeks before us.”
Her advice for the general public as a professional working in the field at this unprecedented moment in modern history? Stay home.
Taking coronavirus “too seriously” won’t hurt, she said, but not taking it seriously enough will, and there’s no controlling who could be affected.
While her work doesn’t necessarily put her on the front line of the coronavirus situation, Landon said she has many friends who are that are experiencing extreme anxiety due to the resource shortages, struggles to protect themselves and their families while caring for others, and other concerns.
Yet there is one silver lining.
“I appreciate how the community has come together and donated, made masks and supported our children and elderly who are most at-risk at this time,” Landon said. “There is faith in humanity.”
Pictured above: Landon as a nurse at Bronson Battle Creek in 2018.
Nursing at KCC
If you want a flexible, in-demand career that lets you help people and make a difference every day, nursing may be the career for you. Applications for KCC’s Full-Time and Part-Time Nursing programs are available now. Visit www.kellogg.edu/nursing for more information.