West Tennessee nurses return from Hurricane Florence relief
JACKSON, Tenn.–West Tennessee nurses receiving a warm welcome home after putting their skills to work in the Hurricane Florence recovery effort.
“They took cots, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, they took uh pop up showers, put camping bags,” said Emergency Response Coordinator of West TN Susan Porter.
Those were a few items that these nurses of the West Tennessee Nurse Strike Team took with them as they were sent to North Carolina to lend a helping hand to disaster victims.
Susan Porter trained these nurses before they left.
“To make sure they had everything that they needed when they were deployed and then it was just a relief when I saw them pull back in today, I knew that they had accomplished the mission,” said Porter.
“You never come back the same person your always changed,” said Team Lead of West TN Nurse Strike Team, Jennifer Cook.
A change that came after helping more than 400 people affected by Hurricane Florence. Team leader Jennifer Cook says the experience gave her a new appreciation for the things she has.
“It really does put it in a huge perspective about how blessed you really are as a person,” said Cook.
And with this experience the nurse’s forged a stronger bond.
“Just the camaraderie of working with this team and the experience and expertise of those who had deployed before because this was my first deployment,” said Staff Development Coordinator of West TN Nurse Strike Team, Gwen Blayde.
It was a first for RN Staff Development Coordinator Gwen Blayde.
But she as well as the other nurses were shown appreciation for volunteering.
“Were very proud of our nurse strike team and were excited that they volunteered to help,” said Porter.
“I just thank them for their time and their energy and their dedication and the heart that they have provided to these folks,” said Administrative Service Assistant of the West Regional Health Office Kiuanna Haynes.
After the warm welcome, the West Tennessee Nurse Strike Team gathered for a meeting to discuss what things they could do to improve for future deployments.
A total of 20 nurses with the Tennessee Department of Health Nurse Strike Team from all across the state helped with hurricane relief efforts.