DENVER — A burning fireplace illuminated the corner of Grover Street’s Zoom call. The ER nurse was adjusting to the Denver cold after he spent the last few weeks in California working inside a rural hospital ravaged by the coronavirus.
Street is one of the thousands of nurses who travel regularly to hospitals across the country that are in the most need. Fastaff Travel Nursing, Street’s employer, told 9NEWS as hospitalizations increased, the demand for travel nurses hit a record high.
Street spent the last nine months helping to fulfill that need.
“We were having about an 80-90% positivity rate, and patients would come in and pull their mask down and keep their mask downs in the room,” Street said.
He told 9NEWS that’s likely the way he contracted COVID-19 as well.
"I was on the phone talking to my wife, who's a physician, and I told her, 'You know what, I'm kind of scared because seeing how patients progress through this illness from being just OK to the point they're in the ICU dying,' it's like that went through my mind,” he said.
Fortunately for Street, the illness didn't take its sometimes aggressive toll, but instead left him with a long-hauling appreciation of modern medicine.
After Street recovered from the virus, he was able to get vaccinated before his holiday trip home back to Denver.
"It’s like playing Russian roulette with this disease,” he said. “But getting vaccinated is going to help ease those pains."
Fastaff Travel Nursing, a Denver-based company, said all their nurses qualify for the vaccination as long as they're at their assignment for enough time to get both doses.
“Once they get the vaccine, that makes that nurse even more valuable for the next assignment that he or she might take,” Fastaff Senior Vice President of Marketing Lauren Pasquale Bartlett said in a previous interview.
Street said he wanted to go to where COVID-19 has hit hard so he can use his gift of life to save others.
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