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Indiana nurse opens up about battling coronavirus on the front lines

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Credit: IU Health West Hospital via Storyful

AVON, Ind. (STORYFUL) — A registered nurse in Indiana opened up about the anxieties she faces caring for a unit of patients battling COVID-19, and encouraged viewers to remain at home and wash their hands often as health care professionals fight on the front lines.

Hannah Blakley, who works as a registered nurse on the medical-surgery unit at IU Health West Hospital in Avon, Indiana, has been caring solely for patients fighting the coronavirus for the past several weeks.

In this video, which Blakley recorded in her car before her shift on April 15, the nurse reflected on her mounting anxiety each morning before starting work.

“Is this the day that I bring home COVID to my husband? Is this the day that I walk in and my patient is on hospice and their family won’t be there with them during their transition?” Blakley says in the video.

Blakley notes that some of her colleagues have not seen their children in months in an effort to minimize any potential spreading of the virus. “It’s so hard for me to know that there are people here that can’t see their families,” Blakley said. “I know it’s only two months, but there’s a lot of things that change in two months.”

More than 3,300 Indiana University Health employees have had to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, but 2,600 have returned to work, according to the hospital.

As of April 21, at least 12,097 people have been reported to have COVID-19 in Indiana, and 635 have died.

“The biggest thing is just to remember to stay home. We are fighting for you on the front lines, and the biggest thing you can do is to stay home, wash your hands, and make sure that you don’t end up in the hospital,” Blakley said. She thanked the community for their donations to the hospital, including local restaurants that had brought food for the health care professionals working around the clock.

A stay-at-home order is in effect for Indiana until May 1.