Coronavirus

Video: From inside a medical supply closet, a Boston Medical nurse shares her experience of treating COVID-19

"I'm almost jealous of the people who don't have to work in the hospital right now."

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Diana Costine has been giving an inside look into what it’s like to be a nurse at Boston Medical Center during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using the hospital’s medical supply closet to record, Costine has been keeping a video diary to document what it’s like to work inside the ICU. In a video shared by Good Morning America on Wednesday, a clip shows Costine dressed in scrubs, taking off her N95 respirator off to show indents on her face from wearing the mask.

“My face is killing me,” she said to the camera. “I think that skin on my nose there is about ready to burst open.”

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In another clip, Costine revealed some of the struggles the hospital has been dealing with during the pandemic, including a lack of supplies such as PPE masks, hospital gowns, and gloves. At the end of April, Boston Medical’s ICU department reached capacity and ambulances had to be redirected and told to head to other facilities.

Costine had documented the moment when it happened.

“Right now we have no critical care beds in our hospital,” she said in her video. “We’ve been managing our COVID-19 patients down in the emergency department, which is obviously less than ideal for everyone involved. But, the hospital is trying to make more ICU beds and we’re moving people around.”

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Having seen the impact and effects of the virus, she’s also been vocal about her own frustrations about those not taking social distancing seriously.

“I’m almost jealous of the people who don’t have to work in the hospital right now because they probably just have this ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude,” she said. “And even the ones who don’t have that attitude have no idea what we’re seeing.”

“It’s just been really difficult and it’s hard sometimes seeing people out and not following the protocol just staying at home or going out and they’re getting together. It’s frustrating as a nurse seeing this because you’re looking at them and you know, you just know, how bad this is going to get and how bad it is.”

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With Governor Charlie Baker planning to reopen the state’s economy starting on May 18, some scientists warn that “it still feels too early” and rushing could lead to an increase in outbreaks. That would only place a greater demand on hospitals in Massachusetts, which have begun working together to share supplies, equipment, and staff.  

On a positive note, Costine said she feels like doctors and nurses are starting to become more “skilled” on how to treat patients.

“We’re still seeing a good amount of COVID-19 patients, it just doesn’t feel as scary, as panicky because the acuity is not as high,” she explained. “Or, maybe it’s just because we’re more prepared and we’re more skilled as to how to treat these patients. We got this guys.”

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