Katy Wilkens, Chief Nursing Officer at Christus Shreveport-Bossier talks with 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty about the effects of COVID 19 on the nursing profession, both short and long term.

Wilkens tells KEEL listeners that her father, a physician, was her inspiration to enter the nursing profession. "I think it's our belief in Jesus Christ and that we're serving a ministry and serving a higher power," Wilkens says, explaining her call, "There's a special thing about what we do that raises up the care that we give."

"I think when you ask about nurses and their call, everyone has a different story." That's what Katy says when asked if there is a common thread among people in the nursing profession. "Some of them wanted to be a nurse since they were a child. Some came to it because they had a loved one in the hospital. But the thing that brings us together when we talk about (our) stories is the desire to care for others."

And when it comes to COVID 19 changing her job, Wilkens says, "We've always practiced very, very strong infection control practices. But now...(nurses) move at a different pace, they're more methodical, they're more careful than I've ever seen nurses be."

Wilkens adds that the added care and concern given to virus patients stems from the  necessary isolation. "We're the only family they have right now. Nurses are making a lot of phone calls, giving patient updates to families. We're just in a different world."