She has been an MMH employee in our Intensive Care Unit for 12 years and is the mother of one son, a coal miner at West Elk. In her primary role as a telemetry technician, she constantly monitors the vital signs of patients, including blood pressure, oxygen levels, and more to ensure patients are taken care of. Leatha serves as a watch over each ICU patient including our COVID patients – alerting colleagues when a patient needs additional assistance, such as when vital signs suddenly decline.
What has it been like to watch over our COVID patients this year? “Challenging,” she says.
“Every patient is special, each need is different.” Patients may present with different issues and have needs that require different care. There is something different about COVID patients, however: “They generally trigger alarms more,” she said. Patients are always needing to be watched, but there is an added alertness required for those affected by COVID-19.
“One of the challenges I have is getting my friends to understand that COVID is real…if they could walk in a healthcare workers shoes for one day, or even one hour, they would see it is real and not made up.”
Leatha has seen the effect of the current surge in COVID cases in the Montrose region. “It affects our nurses, CNAs, and doctors. I see the tiredness in their eyes as they figure out the best course of action to help out the patients. All I can do is pray for them and the patients,” she says.
But there is a positive that has come out of this year: she has seen great compassion from the community.
“They have watched over us, encouraged us and supported us every step of the way.”
As the community continues its battle against COVID-19, Leatha is thankful for her colleagues who work hard each day. She wants to do more, but she knows she can’t – the best way she can serve those in need is to perform her role the best she can. Thank you, Leatha – for being one of our hometown heroes!