Rochester nurse says the pandemic reshaped healthcare

Maddison Shuler wearing a sign that says “Not all superheros wear capes, some wear scrubs.” Photo by Maddison Shuler.

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y — Working through a pandemic is something that many nurses never expected. Now, many work face-to-face with those trying to survive the COVID-19 virus in the midst of one of the largest pandemics to date. 

Maddison Shuler is a nurse working on the COVID unit at Rochester General Hospital where some days are harder than others. She said the hardest part is watching some patients lose the battle with the virus, some spending their last moments with her instead of family.

“It’s so quiet…and you have to hold their hand and tell them it’s going to be okay, and they know what’s happening,” she explained. 

Before becoming a nurse, Maddison said it was her mom falling ill that gave her the push to pursue nursing. She felt inspired by the nurses who took care of her mom.

“These people are amazing…I was like, I can be that person,” Maddison explained. 

After graduating nursing school, her and her co-workers never thought Rochester would be hit as hard as it did.

“We’re always so hopeful that those viruses won’t come to us…Then all of a sudden this hit,” Maddison said. The surges seen in the hospital still come in waves. She takes extra caution when working with those patients head on.

”I’m not just a nurse right now, I’m your friend, I take the place of your family now,” she said.

Maddison stays hopeful despite the hardships faced in her personal and professional life, and the hospital remains alert as the Delta variant progresses.