HYANNIS – “I don’t think there is a way to really mentally prepare for something like this,” said Bette Texeira, a registered nurse who has worked for Cape Cod Hospital for 26 years, the last seven in in the critical care unit.
Texeira, 47, of Mashpee, said of the Covid-19 pandemic and its potential impact on Cape Cod, “We’re all a little on edge and definitely nervous about what we’re going to be facing when we walk through those doors.”
“Our stress levels are really high right now but the hospital has done a fantastic job in trying to prepare us and protect us,” she said. And, Texeira lauded those in the community who are donating equipment.
“Cape Cod Healthcare has been fantastic in reaching out to the community so we can have the equipment we need to take care of these patients,” said Texeira.
“Right now, where we stand,” she said, “we are all prepared to take on as big of an influx of patients that we are hearing we are going to get.”
The hospital has been seeing “a lot of patients with flu-like symptoms. But luckily, there are a lot more negative tests than positive right now.”
As of Tuesday, Texeira said, “the hospital has been trying to make sure the nurses and nursing assistants are all taking time off in preparation for what we expect will be a big influx of patients.”
Meanwhile, Texeira noted that the entire staff of the hospital is getting prepared. “I’ve been in the hospital so long. I’ve got colleagues on every unit on every floor, in every department.”
“All we can do is show up to work like we usually do and face anything that comes through those doors,” she said. Even without this pandemic, she said, “On any given night, we don’t know what’s going to come in those doors.”
The hospital has a handful of confirmed cases of Covid-19 that have been admitted, she said. “For a lot of patients, we use personal protective equipment until it is ruled out,” said said.
“The hospital and the community are doing everything we can to support each other while we wait for the quote-unquote, next shoe to drop,” she said. “I am praying for the best.”
Texeira said she is also the director of The CHIPS House [Cape Head Injury Persons], and that at that facility and others serving in-need communities across the Cape, “our visitations were cut and people going out to appointments was cut. The only real fear is the people who come to work in these facilities possibly bringing the virus in,” said Texiera.
“That could be devastating for our elderly population down here,” she said of possibility of workers infecting residents of managed care facilities of any kind.
Texeira, while worried, had an optimistic tone as well. “Right now, our numbers are really good,” she said of the number of patients with Covid-19 in Cape Cod Hospital.
“Things look promising,” she said. “If we can continue to flatten the curve and get patients in a few at a time like we are right now, we totally have this under control.”
And she noted on Tuesday, “over the last two or three days, the curve has really flattened. If we can keep it that way, the hospitals – Cape Cod and Falmouth – and Cape Cod Healthcare as a whole are ready. We have extra ventilators, extra respiratory equipment.”
“I think we’re ready for the worst, but hoping for the best,” said Texeira.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Texeiria has agreed to check in with Cape Cod Wave Magazine with weekly updates when she has time. We wish her and the staff at Cape Cod Hospital safety, and we think we are not alone in saying thank you to all.
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