TYLER, Texas — There is no doubt the impact our healthcare workers have taken during the pandemic.
It includes a greater reliance on traveling nurses to make sure our local hospitals have enough staff.
Dr. Rhonda Tressa Moore, a transitional nurse executive currently serving East Texas, was once a travel nurse, with over three decades of medical experience.
Throughout her time and experience in the industry, she says she expected a pandemic, but never something this grave.
“I did anticipate some type of pandemic but I did not anticipate seeing the amount of death and despair that we are seeing that I am seeing on the front line right now,” said Dr. Moore.
In March of last year, Dr. Moore decided to leave her administrative role temporarily and help hospitals needing assistance in New York, once the epicenter of the pandemic.
'I decided to go into direct patient care in March of 2020. I served New York, and never in my life have I ever seen anything such as that and that was very heart-wrenching, families, entire generations wiped away by this pandemic, my colleagues wiped away by this current pandemic,” said Dr. Moore.
Moore now serves as a transitional nurse executive, where she helps select travel nurses and assigns them to different states wherever the greater need is. Throughout the pandemic, she’s helped assist with the number of surges parts of the U.S. have faced in three different states.
“New York, one in Orlando, Florida and another in Texas, and just have never seen anything like this. And it's was incredible and it remains very much incredibly preventable and heart-wrenching,” said Dr. Moore.
With the vaccine available and accessible to many, millions of people still distrust it. Dr. Moore believes it’s due to the pandemic being politicized.
“I think that it's this the difference between this pandemic as opposed to other endemics is that it's highly politicized. And as long as they are people who continue to politicize other people's lives, it's going to get worse.” Dr. Moore added.
The deadline for healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated here in East Texas is quickly approaching. Some healthcare workers will still refuse it.
“My thoughts are what are you thinking? And my, my question is why, why not? Why haven't you gotten vaccinated?" Dr. Moore asked. "I respectfully request for you to step back from the profession at this juncture, because you being at the front line, you taking care of patients, putting those patients at risk, and those patients did not ask for this, they have not asked for this."
Dr. Moore will also help to assist an informational as well as a vaccine clinic in Tyler next month.