Hurricane Near Florida

Nurses In The Path Of Hurricane Matthew

Whenever tragedy or catastrophe strikes, there’s a quote from Fred Rogers (aka PBS’s Mister Rogers) that always makes the rounds on social media.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

And for us, whenever we think of “the helpers”, we naturally think of nurses.

As Hurricane Matthew swept across the east coast this past week, nurses from all over felt the effects. Some, like the 50 Kansas City nurses trapped by the storm in Orlando, found themselves caught in the path of the storm. Yet in true “nurse fashion”, instead of complaining, the nurses have made themselves available to the nearby hospitals dealing with the aftermath of the storm.

Other nurses, such as the nurses of UF Health Jacksonville, knew in advance that they would be in the storm’s path, yet decided to stay and help. With any storm the size of Hurricane Matthew, the aftermath is difficult to predict, but the nurses are no strangers to hurricanes and have an idea of what to expect.

“Post-hurricane activity in the trauma unit usually comes from rooftop falls and other clean-up related injuries,” trauma unit nurse Kelly McIntosh told the Florida Times-Union. “People will be anxious to go out and do something.”

Even before the storm made landfall, however, cases began to roll in as injuries from hurricane preparations led to small accidents-such as one man falling off his roof, and a boy who was kicked by a horse while moving the animal to shelter.

And then there are nurses like Sarah Koerber of Lafayette, Louisiana, and Joan Hunt of Burlington, Iowa-two helpers who weren’t in the path of the storm are doing their best to get back to the disaster areas and help. Each has spent a significant amount of time volunteering in Haiti, and now that the storm has left so much tragedy behind, both nurses are already working hard to get back and help.

We often see the best in people following a tragedy, as communities pull together to address the challenges and rebuild, and nurses are almost always right in the center of those efforts. Uniquely equipped by their day-to-day experiences with helping others, nurses are made for these times. So whenever we’re “looking for the helpers”, we’re always looking for the nurses first.

If you’d like more information on beginning your career as a nurse, contact us here for more information on the many Unitek College nursing programs available.