American Sentinel University alumna Debbie Wasilewski was featured recently on a September 28, 2020, episode of The Dr. Oz Show in a segment called, “Nurses on the Front Lines.”
“We need healthcare workers with a passion for science”
As Dr. Oz put it, “Now more than ever, science matters. We need science to help take care of our personal health. And 2020 has taught us that we need researchers and healthcare workers with a passion for science so we can solve a public health crisis and face any challenges that life throws our way.”
On a “Face Anything with Science Tour,” Dr. Oz set out to meet nurses on the front lines and hear more about their experiences serving COVID-19 patient during much of 2020.
Debbie and several nurses from within the RWJBarnabas Health system were featured on the show and shared what they have learned, the difficulties they’ve faced and how the pandemic has affected them in their work and personal lives.
Debbie is a medical telemetry nurse who has worked with COVID-19 patients since March 2020, when her unit transformed into the hospital’s coronavirus floor. She says that being on the show was an honor. “I was proud to represent RWJ Barnabas Health and my hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital,” she says. “From the beginning of the pandemic, we were all terrified of the unknown. My coworkers and I put aside our fears and, walked into the rooms of our patients every day and did the best we could to fight a virus that we knew very little about.”
Proud to be a nurse
In addition to spending time treating COVID-19 patients, Debbie contracted the virus herself in May 2020.
“In my unit, we have all been fighting this pandemic since day one and many of us became sick with COVID as well,” says Debbie, who missed six weeks of work while recovering. “When I got sick, I was afraid that I might not make it through the night because of my breathing. In the hospitals, we see the patients who are struggling, not the ones with mild cases. It has been an emotionally and physically draining time for us at my hospital and across the nation. But I’ve realized I’m proud to be in the nursing profession because when things get tough, we all pull together and take care of our patients. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing than nursing.”
American Sentinel in the family
Debbie and her twin sister, Denise, are both nurses in New Jersey. Denise followed in her sister’s footsteps to earn the BSN at American Sentinel University too. She’ll graduate in early 2021. Read their story.
View the clip of several nurses in Debbie’s hospital system on The Dr. Oz Show.
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