In North Texas’ COVID units, the days can be long.
“You're spending 35 to 45 minutes to an hour inside of a room. As soon as you're done with that room, you have to go to your next room,” said nurse Adrienne Beard.
All to make sure each person gets their food on time, their labs drawn and their medication.
Beard said many of her patients are so sick, they can do little for themselves, requiring nearly every minute of her 12-hour shift.
"It's not just, ‘Oh, here are your meds.’ It's, I'm going to sit here for 30 minutes to feed you bite by bite your meal, while my stomach's hungry.’ It's two hours past noon and I haven't had lunch,” said Beard.
Nursing is a calling to help people. Beard said when she signed up, she knew there would be sick people and she knew she’d experience death.
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Still, she never could’ve imagined the challenges COVID-19 brought to the table.
That’s why a few weeks ago, Beard turned to her Rockwall community.
In a Facebook group, she asked for some simple donations of anything that could help reduce stress.
"To just have a little reminder that, ‘Hey we care about you just like you care about us,' is really nice,” said Beard.
Within just a few days, she’d collected enough snacks, bath bombs and candles to create care packages for all of the nurses in one COVID unit.
And as the donations kept coming, she expanded the project beyond where she works in Arlington to Rockwall where she lives.
So far, Beard has filled 80 bags with self-care items for those who work tirelessly to care for others.
She hopes over time, she and her neighbors will be able to gift one to nurses across all shifts at one particularly hard-hit hospital.
"It means so much to me to see that people are thankful for what we're doing, and they do realize that we do need a little bit of love right now,” said Beard.
For those wanting to contribute, Beard created an Amazon Wish List.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
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