Snow didn’t deter nurses from making rounds

(Patriot Ledger) The weekend blizzard posed extraordinary challenges for health-care workers who treat seriously ill patients.

In Hingham, a pair of snowshoes helped a visiting nurse reach a cancer patient for a chemotherapy session. Elsewhere, nurses braved tree-strewn roads and shoulder-high snowdrifts to reach patients.

Mary Roth of the South Shore Visiting Nurse Association trudged through the storm Saturday to reach a 66-year-old Hingham woman’s home to administer chemotherapy treatment, agency officials said.

“She traveled 20 minutes down North Street with her blue bag and snowshoes,” said Joyce Cox, a nurse manager for Shore Shore VNA. “The patient was so excited that she had a sandwich and a salad waiting for her.”

Cox drove from her home in Hull to the emergency shelter in Marshfield on Saturday to treat an 81-year-old cardiac patient who needs constant intravenous treatment. After checking on his condition, she headed to Stop & Shop to fulfill his request for a cup of decaf.

In Weymouth, a nurse forged through 5-foot snowbanks holding her equipment over her head to deliver medication to a patient.

The agency, which serves 1,250 patients on the South Shore, began planning for the storm by prioritizing visits and matching patients with staff members who live nearby, Director Tammy Ryan said.

“We started planning for the storm four days beforehand, making sure we knew how everybody was doing,” she said. “All of the nurses were thinking about their patients, and many of them made phone calls.”

 

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