Regions Hospital ICU nurse shares thoughts with COVID-19 video diary

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Lydia Bridgeman, an intensive care unit nurse at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, shared a video diary she took over three days in November to help educate the public about what she, her coworkers and patients are dealing with every day during this most recent coronavirus surge.

"I don’t know if I would say putting my thoughts on video was cathartic, per se," said Bridgeman. "I thought it was just an opportunity to share differently."

Bridgeman said the COVID-19 surge this year is similar to last year but in some ways more challenging. The pressure and strain are still great because patients keep coming, hospitals run out of beds and most are also short-staffed.

"Morale is low, and that’s a fact, and things have been done to try and improve morale, but they have fallen short, and so morale is still low," she said. "So, the adjustments to the conditions have turned into an adjustment to the perceptions, and it seems that we’ve gone from being one of the most trusted professions in the world to the least trusted."

Bridgeman told KSTP that hospital staff is doing the very best it can to keep up with a seemingly endless flow of COVID-19 and other patients in need of critical care.

"The emotional tolls are bigger this year than last year because we’re going on two years now," said Bridgeman. "We put so much effort into our patients every day from the 37-year-olds to the 45-year-olds and even the 70s-something-year-olds, and we are often met with death."

Bridgeman has worked as a nurse for seven years.