Five Ascension Via Christi Hospital certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are volunteering to assist medical officials at Ascension facilities in Illinois and Indiana.
Alyssa Jones and Brooklin Stoddard are both traveling to Chicago. Baylee Hogan, Cortney Kipp and Taylor Vandeloo are volunteering in Indianapolis, where outbreaks of the coronavirus have been more rampant.
The five were joined in a send off ceremony that included coworkers and families outside the Manhattan hospital Saturday evening. Vandeloo has been a CNA for more than a year, and is studying to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
“I just really wanted to go help out,” Vandeloo says. “I know that they’re going through a lot up there, getting hit a little bit harder than we are, so they just need the back-up and I wanted nothing more than to go up there and help out.”
Vandeloo says over the past few weeks they’ve seen a variety of ways the virus presents in patients. She hopes to gain more knowledge to help her fellow nurses in Manhattan.
“I hope to learn a lot from the people we’re going to working with and the people we’re going to be helping take care of, how this works in the human body,” she says.
Stoddard has been a CNA for more than five years. She is fairly new to the Manhattan hospital. She’s planning to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
“I chose a role in healthcare because I love caring for others and I have always dreamed of being a nurse,” she says. “I volunteered to go to a COVID-19 hotspot because I think it’s important that we all stick together as a country and help each other when in need.”
Ascension Chief Nursing Officer Jennifer Goehring expressed her gratitude for the women’s selflessness adding that she’s incredibly thankful for their call to action.
“I’m proud that members of our Manhattan team will be there to help support their colleagues and provide some relief to those who have been caring for patients battling COVID-19,” she says. “This pandemic has brought out the best in our team – we have come together and are stronger than ever before.”
Each woman was given a goody bag with snacks and mementos for their trip. After leaving Sunday, the five nurses will spend two weeks out of state before coming back home.