Our Nurse of the Week is Careen Rodgers, a registered nurse employed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), who packed her bags and headed south after seeing the extensive havoc that Hurricane Florence wreaked on the Carolinas. Rodgers was one of 22 nurses from the VDH who joined forces with the North Carolina Department of Health to set up shelters along the coast.

Rodgers’ volunteer stint became a 10-day trip after she found herself in Raleigh, North Carolina along with members of the National Guard and others nurses, totaling over 1,000 emergency response personnel. Rodgers joined a team of nurses bound for New Bern, one of the hardest hit areas. She was posted at a shelter at Trent Park Elementary School. The school itself didn’t receive extensive damage from the storm but the nearby residents who fled to the safe location weren’t so lucky. Many swam in the dark to get to the shelter due to extensive flooding.

Many of the injuries treated at Trent Park weren’t life-threatening. Rodgers helped administer basic first aid, but recalls the importance of providing emotional support to her patients as well, many of whom were escaping flooded homes and devastating damage.

Rodgers tells MartinsvilleBulletin.com, “Our role was basic first aid. We cared for minor cuts and bruises, but we were also there providing emotional support. We weren’t just caring for the outside injuries, but the inside injuries. You think about a nurse tending to a wound, but there’s a lot more that we do…It was all about helping people at a basic level of humanity.”

To learn more about Careen Rodgers and her generous efforts in helping survivors of Hurricane Florence, visit here.

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