Coronavirus crisis: Cedars-Sinai nurses share deeply personal stories of working on front lines

As medical workers everywhere risk their health to provide care for COVID-19 patients, several Los Angeles nurses told ABC7 what it's like inside a hospital during a pandemic.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- On National Nurses Day, several nurses on Tuesday spoke with ABC7 about their experiences in a deeply personal way.

Meanwhile, first responders paid tribute to health care workers outside Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

"It feels nice. I feel like, I wouldn't really say I feel like a superhero. I feel honored to be recognized so well," said Marlon Bustamante, an emergency-room nurse at Cedars-Sinai.

Nurses everywhere have been risking their own lives to provide care for patients with COVID-19, a virus that still carries unknowns.

"What we've been finding with the patients with the COVID-19 nothing's ever the same or similar," said Melissa Rue, an intensive care unit nurse at the hospital.

Vigil held for Hollywood nurse who died 2 days after testing positive for COVID-19
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A candlelight vigil was held outside a hospital in Hollywood Wednesday evening to honor a nurse who died two days after testing positive for the coronavirus.

"It's scary because it's not consistent. It hits some people hard," said Bustamante.

ER nurse Marlon Bustamante says he gives patients the facts -- that most will make it through just fine.

"They just have to practice what we're preaching. Social distancing, isolating themselves so they don't get anyone else sick," said Bustamante.

During the pandemic people in the community have shown their appreciation for nurses through lunch and dinner donations. It has not gone unnoticed.

"So helpful because it's one last thing we have to think about," said Rue.

ICU Nurse Melissa Rue urges people to continue be nice to everyone and stay positive.

"I think it's important to continue to be nice because you never know what someone else is experiencing," said Rue.

This is the start of National Nurses Week, which goes until May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday.
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