Keeping Up with the Krew: Trinity

By: Ben Phelps

Being in control of your mindset is often difficult. Maintaining a positive attitude can feel impossible or overwhelming when situations continue to get challenging. Nurses know this better than most, but they also know how to find the good in these tough situations. Trinity is one nurse familiar with looking for the bright side in difficult circumstances. On her deployments with Krucial Rapid Response, she rode many emotional rollercoasters, but through it all, she was able to remember why she was a nurse.

Trinity’s career as an ICU nurse started before the pandemic. Because of her experience, she was able to understand nursing in a normal world before being thrust into the world’s most significant medical event in the last century. When the pandemic arrived, Trinity was able to focus her mind on doing what she could do to help. However, finding light in the darkness started for Trinity before the COVID outbreak and before she even hit the ICU floor.

“I specifically became a nurse because my mom died when I was really young, in front of me, and I wanted to save people,” she explained.

When something truly devastating like that happens to a person, it takes incredible resilience and selfless love to push through and find the desire to help others. Those traits are what led Trinity to take a leap when the pandemic began.

That desire to help others brought Trinity to New York first in April 2020. “Obviously, we didn’t really know what to expect at that point in time with the pandemic. We didn’t know treatments,” she said.

Right away, hospitals were at capacity. In fact, sometimes, she was caring for between five and six ICU patients. “In the ICU, it’s usually one nurse with two patients or less,” Trinity explained. Between providing more patients than usual with absolutely essential care and working five to six days a week, nurses became burnt out quickly. Thankfully, Krucial Rapid Response wasn’t the only organization dedicated to serving others during the pandemic. Within a couple of weeks, military personnel arrived and made their lives easier.

“They could give our medication, and like they were able to set up a prone team, which is where we flip patients onto their stomachs and back on their back so they can breathe better when they’re in ARDS, which is acute respiratory distress,” she said. Their help became crucial in such a busy and uncertain time, and they made it easier for nurses to learn and develop best care practices for this new illness.

From New York, Trinity made her way down to Texas to help when the state was being hit hard by the pandemic. It became clear rapidly that Krucial nurses like Trinity, with previous COVID experience, would make a huge difference in Texas. “That’s what makes Krucial awesome; they went to smaller places that were also really struggling,” Trinity said. “Facilities that had never even seen COVID before were looking to the Krucial nurses.” Her experience in New York helped her become a leader in the fight against the pandemic in these rural areas. Without that big-picture mindset and perseverance, Trinity and others might have never realized the difference they were able to make. “It was really cool to kind of see that come full circle and feel like we had learned so much in New York that we were able to help in other places,” she said.

Even when Trinity came down with COVID, she still maintained that positive perspective. “Well, it’s like a blessing in disguise because I couldn’t smell bad stuff either,” she laughed. Beyond that, it helped Trinity further her capacity for empathy both with her patients and with other nurses.

Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean that the pandemic wasn’t hard, though. “We all went into nursing to save people, not put them in body bags regularly,” Trinity said when reflecting on the hardest parts of being on deployment. Despite the hardship, Trinity loved the help she provided to her patients and fellow nurses during the outbreak.

Many nurses began their careers in the middle of the pandemic and suffered blow after blow to their mentality as caregivers. Trinity has a message for these nurses, “especially the newer nurses who weren’t nurses pre-COVID had more patients die than survive the last two years. To them, I say, ‘Just keep your head up. There’s more to love about nursing. We just have to look for all the bright spots.’”

Finding the bright spots can be hard, but they pull us through hard times and bring us to the next joy in life. Know someone who brings light everywhere they go? Nominate them and reach out to us at social_media@krucialrr.org

“I specifically became a nurse because my mom died when I was really young, in front of me, and I wanted to save people.”

"That’s what makes Krucial awesome; they went to smaller places that were also really struggling."

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