LUBBOCK, Texas — Registered nurse, Taylor Hutcheson, returned to Lubbock after spending several months in Eagle Pass, helping with coronavirus patients in critical condition.
Hutcheson had previously spent some time in New York City, helping with patients there.
“We saw a lot of things that many people will never see in their life,” Hutcheson said.
Hutcheson wrote to her Facebook group ‘LBK to NYC to SA Nurses’ that in going to Eagle Pass, although a difficult decision, it was also the right one. However, after she arrived, she and her team were met with challenges. She said the hospital in Eagle Pass is rural.
“It was just like New York. We were understaffed. We had tons and tons of very critical sick patients,” Hutcheson said.
Critical patients are usually sent to San Antonio for treatment, but at the time, San Antonio facilities were at capacity. She said medical staff had to do what they could.
“We were having to take care of these critical patients with very limited resources,” Hutcheson said.
She said many of her patients came in as families, something she hadn’t seen in New York.
“Everyone was getting together and all the outcomes were very poor,” Hutcheson said.
Additionally, Hutcheson is from McAllen, so being in the Rio Grande Valley was personal for her.
“I was in south Texas and the community and the culture, I grew up with,” Hutcheson said. “You just feel so helpless because you want to do everything you possibly can to help these patients but the outcomes are just so poor.”
But then help arrived.
“Received help from the Navy Rural Rapid Response team and they were a huge help,” Hutcheson said.
The organization brought in nurses, respiratory therapists and an ICU Critical Care doctor.
“We were each other’s support because we became each other’s family throughout this difficult time,” Hutcheson said.
The nurse was only supposed to work seven days, but had stayed for several weeks. Hutcheson said she was to work until Sept. 31, but due to a family emergency, she had to return sooner. She said being back home after spending so much time away has been a different experience.
“The day I came home, my son started walking,” Hutcheson said.
But now that Hutcheson is back home with her family, who has been supportive of her journey, she said she has learned just how important family is, and her time away had also made her a better nurse.
“I have become more autonomous, I’ve become more strong willed, I’ve become very patient oriented,” Hutcheson said.
Hutcheson has accepted a job at University Medical Center since her return.