BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Nurses across the country are the heartbeat of hospitals, especially during the pandemic when hospitals were flooded with COVID patients and their families in what was a trying time for so many people.
As part of Nurses Appreciation Week, 23ABC wanted to make sure we took a moment to thank and recognize nurses right here in our community for their hard work, compassion, and dedication to their job.
Alicia Geata says she always wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps. Her mom was a nurse for 30 years at Kern Medical before retiring and now Alicia has done just that and became a nurse at Kern Medical.
"Help those people that don't have a voice. Be their voice."
Alicia says even though COVID has slowed down she hasn't especially because she directly involved with mobile clinics that go throughout the county to vaccinate residents.
"We vaccinated 7,000 ag workers in Delano and that was extremely rewarding. Watching them walk out of that room after that first and second vaccine and reassuring them that they were going to be okay. Me speaking Spanish being able to answer their questions it was, yes it was exhausting and yes it was a lot of work but every single second of it has been worth it."
Laura Ragnetti has been a nurse for 29 years and says right out of school she began working in the neonatal intensive care unit. And one thing she loves about her job is creating a bond with families and patients even after they leave the hospital.
"Nursing allows us to touch other people's lives and they also touch ours in return."
For Laura, the hardest part of COVID for her was seeing the isolation her patients felt but at the end of the day, she hoped: "I made a difference in somebody's life. Hope that the mom or the dad of these babies realize that we care deeply about them."
Both of these nurses at Kern Medical say one thing that gets them through their job every day is the amazing support system of colleagues that fill the hospital hallways.