By Christopher Hadorn, Midland Reporter-Telegram
Jessica McBryde understands how difficult it can be for loved ones to be unable to
visit a COVID-19 patient at Midland Memorial Hospital because of new rules that prohibit
visitors in order to curtail the virus’ spread.
McBryde, 30, is attending to COVID-19 patients as a registered nurse in the intensive
care unit at MMH. While the new rules may prohibit visitors, McBryde finds ways for
her patients to stay in touch with their families.
“Since we can’t have visitors at the hospital, one of the things I try to do is spend
a little time in the patient’s room,” McBryde said. “I will hold their hand, talk
to them. If I can, I will get their family on the speaker phone and take my phone
into the room so the family can talk to the patient even if they are sedated. I try
to keep their TVs on, open the blinds in their room, just try to make it a little
more homey if I can. I try to keep the news off. I like to put on Food Network or
Discovery Channel, something to get their minds off what is going on.”
Providing attentive care to people in need is why McBryde, a Tall City native, went
to Midland College for nursing school and now finds herself in the midst of fighting
“I think it’s just my calling,” McBryde said of nursing. “I want to make people feel
better and comfort them and be there for them in their most vulnerable times.”
McBryde, who graduated from MC in December 2018, said caring for a COVID-19 patient
is no different from attending other illnesses, except the nurses are using more personal
protective equipment in terms of gowns, masks and gloves. She said the hospital is
providing them special surgical scrubs just for COVID-19 treatment.
She said one of the top priorities is preventing the spread.
“I’m washing my hands enough where my hands are raw at the end of the day,” McBryde
McBryde said her team does continuous monitoring of COVID-19 patients on the fifth
floor, which includes frequent checking of temperatures and breathing sounds. They
also conduct diagnostics such as chest X-rays and lab work to see if patients are
The challenge of battling the coronavirus is a fight that McBryde embraces.
“It’s an honor to be part of this,” McBryde said. “We have an excellent team, and
I love being a part of this team. I love being part of this process and kind of watching
history and watching these patients improve. See how we change medicine to have better
outcomes for patients. But I don’t consider myself a hero. We’re just doing our job
with extra protective equipment.