El Paso nurses sent to San Antonio to help NICU patients
Three nurses from Del Sol Medical Center left for San Antonio on Friday to help out in hurricane relief efforts.
The nurses work in the neonatal intensive care unit and will help with infants that have been moved to hospitals in the area in preparation for that hurricane.
"From what I understand is that the babies have already been moved. What I've been told is that the babies were moved first. They're a lot more portable, they're easier to move and they're a lot more critical as well, so they moved all of those babies first. Of course San Antonio has an influx of patients so we're gonna go help with that," said nurse Stephanie Palomino.
The nurses say these infants require a lot of attention because they are hooked up to so many machines and are very delicate.
"In general, they're monitored always 24/7," Palomino said. "Typically it takes at least one nurse and one respiratory therapist and a health care provider."
The nurses say they only found out about the opportunity a few hours before they were set to leave.
"We volunteered to be able to help out," said nurse Diana Lechuga. "I just feel honored that we were given the opportunity to be able to help out and go to San Antonio community."
The nurses were taken to San Antonio in a private aircraft from an airfield in east El Paso.
"I'm a fairly new nurse so I thought this was a great learning opportunity and that's kind of what our profession calls us to do is just be selfless and help when we can so I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to go and to help those families," nurse Azia Nicholson said.
Nurses said they are a little bit nervous about heading into a storm to help out. But they said they knew they had to do something.
"Obviously our safety is a concern as well but were there to help you now and that's kind of our main priority at the moment," Nicholson said.
"I'm definitely concerned about the weather," Palomino said. "I'm just going to be positive and think positive and hope for the best."
The nurses are expected to stay in San Antonio until Wednesday depending on how bad things get. They say another wave of nurses from Del Sol could head out there on a later date depending on how bad things get.