WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A nurse is back in North Carolina after deploying to a hospital in New York City at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Nurse Alan Grizzard was deployed to a New York City hospital in April 2020
Grizzard spent time treating COVID-19 patients at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx
Grizzard lives in Winston-Salem and is a nurse practitioner
Alan Grizzard lives in Winston-Salem and is reminiscing about his time working as a nurse at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx in April 2020.
"We felt helpless because it was still so novel, but then we look back at it now and we can see the good that we did," he said.
He says he's never seen people rally around each other like they did during this devastating and unprecedented time. He also found in encouragement from police and firefighters bringing the staff food and cheering them on.
"It's what kept us going, you know, it's what uplifted us to put in these 14/15 hour days go home, eat, go to bed, get up and do it all over again the next day," he said.
Grizzard said it was the hardest job he's ever had because of the volume of patients and the complexity of what they were going through.
After looking back over a year later now as a family nurse practitioner, Grizzard says the experience was positive because he and his peers did everything they could to help people, and that's why he says he continues to love his job.
"I really get my satisfaction in other people's joy and happiness and so if I can help create that for somebody from a health standpoint then I go home and I sleep well every single night," Grizzard said.
After 22 years in the medical field, Grizzard celebrates what he accomplished, but he never takes it for granted. He got his nurse practitioner license during the pandemic and had to study while working in New York City for three weeks.
"It sort of helped keep me distracted. It gave me something to focus on, as well you know other than 'Ok, when are we going to find some normalcy again,' because this was more normal at this point in time."