MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In this series, we are highlighting the important work from the people on the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ashley Esquivel is a Registered Nurse and Monica Mizell is the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Community Health of South Florida.

Sierra Schabowski is a Registered Nurse in the ICU at Broward Health Medical Center.

The three shared what they have been experiencing, during the COVID-19 pandemic, answering some of our questions.

Why did you become a nurse and what has changed lately?

“I became a nurse because I saw that the compassion it takes to care for people from nurses that took care of my brother when he was sick. I’m normally a school-based nurse but now I [shifted] to do COVID-19 testing. I think it’s important because it helps people understand what’s going on in this time,” said Esquivel.

How has your role been impacted?

“CHI, my agency, was the first in the South Dade area to provide a COVID-19 testing drive-through site,” said Mizell. “Also, my team went out into the community with The Homeless Trust to provide swabbing and testing to those individuals who are living under the bridge, in the woods, and encampments.”

What is your most memorable moment?

“When everything started, I took care of one of our first COVID-19 patients and he got sick, very quickly. A lot of times we don’t really get much follow up on how they’re doing after we’ve taken care of them, especially once they’ve left the ICU,” said Schabowski. “He was on life support, he was sedated, he didn’t remember me, of course. But his family knew the name of every nurse that took care of him while he was here. A month after taking care of him, he was on a news story as one of our successes which was a positive light in a really dark place during this situation. It was a big deal for me, feeling like I made a difference, not just for a patient, but his family while we were taking care of him.”

How has this made you feel?

“I’m a professional nurse yet I’m also the ‘person’ who has seen some scary moments, but yet it’s a rewarding time,” said Mizell.

“I wouldn’t change anything that I do. I love what I do,” said Esquivel.

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