Three pregnant nurses working on the front lines of the pandemic say it's a mixture of joy and fear, but they have no plans to stop working and helping people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"With the surge happening, that’s when it got a little more scary," Racquelle Thieling, a surgical nurse practitioner who is expecting, said.
She along with Bea Joe and Leah Korkis are all nurses at USC Verdugo Hills hospital and all three will be delivering their babies there in March and April.
"In the hospital environment I felt very safe but bedside of course it’s scary, you’re in a room with a patient," Joe said.
"A range of emotions at first. Everything from absolute excitement to fear," Korkis said. "I’m officially 9 months pregnant on Friday!”
As the manager of clinical education and nursing excellence, Korkis is responsible for informing, educating and monitoring the quality of nursing units: a new role due to the pandemic.
"We had daily huddles that were streamed across the hospital and emailed across the hospital to consistently give people information," she said.
She says the hospital also provides weekly COVID tests for employees, enough new PPE, extra paid time off, and a bubble around the labor and delivery unit, with staff only assigned to that area.
"That bubble is something that puts me at ease," Korkis said.
All say their doctors gave them the option to stop working while pregnant. None of them did.
"I’m working until my water breaks so they just take me to the fifth floor,” Joe said with a laugh.