Local VA nurses headed to NJ to help care for COVID-19 patients

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Five nurses who work at the VA hospital in Reno are on a one-of-a-kind medical assignment. The group is going to New Jersey to help care for patients and relieve staff hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"My passion is patient care," Cheri Crumley, a licensed practical nurse, said. "We're on this job as professions and we take care of our patients veterans and non-veterans alike."

Crumley said she did not hesitate when she was asked to serve.

"We're nurses and we like to do our job as well as well as advocate for other nurses and healthcare staff," she said.

Brittany Nevin, an emergency management specialist, explained that this is part of the Disaster Emergency Medical Program System (DEMPS.)

"We're requested as needed and it's generally during disaster specific times like coronavirus and we've had personnel deploy to other locations like Puerto Rico during the hurricanes," Nevin said.

The healthcare workers will be in nursing homes for 14 days where the coronavirus has caused staffing shortages.

"We actually have a lot of training that the VA has given us through the COVID disaster. So we are very well trained in our expertise to help those other staff members that need assistance," Crumley said.

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