Respiratory Therapist reflects on year of COVID

Reflecting on one year of the pandemic

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It has officially been over a year since the Coronavirus outbreak was deemed a pandemic While we are seeing a downward trend in cases, many healthcare workers are still working nonstop to help those in need.

Lanetta Brown, a respiratory therapist in Huntsville, says that at times this year has been traumatizing.

Often, respiratory therapists are there until the very end for their patients, and that leaves an impact. The worst COVID patients literally can’t breathe without the help of a respiratory therapist.

After a year of reflection, Brown says like many healthcare workers this year was overwhelming, very vulnerable, and just a year like no other.

She says she is still working 12-hour shifts back to back due to the demand. But, there have been rewarding moments when they have saved lives.

Brown says that she feels like respiratory therapists are the unsung heroes of COVID.

At the height of the pandemic, the department was worried there wasn’t enough resources to meet the need.

“We were using so many ventilators, bypass, and flow devices. I felt like all of us were wondering what’s next,” says Brown.

“It was just coming and coming. We wanted to make sure we have enough equipment to take care of the need of everyone in north Alabama.”

Brown was voted 2020 Respiratory Therapist of the year by her coworkers. She says one of the biggest challenges of the virus is that it seems to hit everyone a little bit differently. There’s no one right way or formula that works for everyone.

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