Cox Medical Center Branson nurse shares the reality of working in the COVID-19 ICU

BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) – As COVID-19 units remain full in Branson, an intensive care nurse shares the realities of working in a COVID-19 unit.

Nurse Kayla Hilles says working in the COVID-19 unit is like a battleground.

“Instead of this being a battleground where you are working against another person, you are working against COVID, we are all fighting COVID together to save everyone,” said Kayla Hilles.

Hilles said that in addition to normal shift duties, they do so while wearing non-breathable coveralls.

“This means we wear a bunny costume, we wear shoe covers, a dress, gloves under the blue dress, gloves over the blue dress, a hairnet, our N-95, our face shield and then a another hair net on top. “

The hospital is also seeing younger patients fighting for their lives right now with COVID-19.

“We’ve had a lot of very sick young patients who normally with the first two cycles of COVID we haven’t seen or necessarily wouldn’t have been at the intensive care level,” Hilles said.

She says the work is also dispersed because they don’t have room for all the patients.

“Not only are our resources being used for COVID, but our resources are being allocated for our real intensive care patients who are not COVID,” Hilles said.

As the demand for rooms increases, so do emergency room wait times.

“I know yesterday there were 45 people in the waiting room at one point, so I can only imagine the very high number of hours waiting,” Hilles said.

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