Tulsa ICU Nurse Shares Toll Of Pandemic: ‘Seems Like It’s Never-Ending’

Wednesday, September 15th 2021, 9:15 pm
By: Jordan Tidwell

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Hillcrest Medical Center COVID-19 ICU nurse said she has asked to transfer to a different unit because of the toll of the pandemic. 

She said she and many of her coworkers are feeling burned out. 

Lizzy Bradford has been a nurse for ten years and has worked in the COVID-19 ICU at Hillcrest Medical Center since the start of the pandemic. 

"When it first started, it was a lot of unknowns, it was pretty scary. We kind of all felt like we were putting our lives on the line a little bit because we had no idea what we were dealing with," she said. 

Bradford said they are now losing so many patients a day with the delta variant, and the patients keep getting younger and younger.

She said it was hard to go into work without being filled with anxiety.  

"With this new wave that started in July, it almost seems like it's never-ending, and it doesn't seem like we're doing as a society what we need to do in order to do to stop COVID from continuing on," Bradford said. 

Bradford said in August, she wanted to keep doing her job, but knew she needed a change. She asked for a transfer out of the CO-19VID ICU and is now working in the ICU float pool, traveling to different non-COVID ICU's that need her. 

"That's been kind of like a sigh of relief, and I can remember why I loved to be a nurse, and it's not so much about COVID all the time," she said. 

Bradford said many nurses feel like they aren't getting community support and wishes people would get vaccinated and wear a mask. 

"We aren't expecting rewards as nurses, we don't want people to put up banners for us,” Bradford said. “We just want people to care for one another because that makes our jobs a lot easier.” 

The state health department said right now there are 399 people in the ICU across the state.