Working in the Parker Adventist Hospital intensive care unit, Robin Mannino has witnessed the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. A respiratory therapist of more than 20 years, Mannino stood in a waiting …
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Working in the Parker Adventist Hospital intensive care unit, Robin Mannino has witnessed the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A respiratory therapist of more than 20 years, Mannino stood in a waiting area at the hospital Dec. 17 with a slight twinge in her left arm from having received an injection of the COVID-19 vaccine. She remembered the past nine months, feeling grateful for her coworkers who have fought alongside her on the frontline of the pandemic.
“It's been hard,” Mannino said. “but I think this just finally a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”
Mannino received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 17, three days after the state received 45,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to distribute among Colorado's frontline workers. The inoculation process requires a patient to receive two dosages of the same amount 21 days apart.
Frontline medical workers and staff of long-term care facilities are eligible to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state's vaccine distribution guideline.
“I'm amazed we've gotten to this point so far already, so soon,” Mannino said.
Mannino has worked for Parker Adventist for 14 years. Mannino works with patients with respiratory ailments, which runs the gamut from emergencies to ventialtors to asthmastics.
“Anytime anybody comes rolling in the ER, we're there. Anybody who's on the ventilator, we're there. Anybody who needs to be intubated, we're there,” Mannino said. Mannino recalled the hardest moments working on the frontline through the past nine months.
“I've gained strength through other people and seeing how they carry on — everybody,” Mannino said. “The general public, everybody. It's a pandemic. The world is going through this.
“It's been a challenge,” Mannino said. “But we've stepped up to the challenge.”
Leanne Naso, chief operating officer for Parker Adventist, called the moment the most significant milestone in the hospital's history.
“For this team to have survived and done what they did,” Naso said, pausing as tears welled in her eyes. “It's impressive. That's out of love of their job and their love of people and their love for this community.
“Health-care workers, in general, run to those in need instead of running away,” Naso said. “They have done that here every waking moment — as hard as it's been, the breakdowns they've had — they've just supported one another.”
Staff at Parker Adventist are better equipped to care for patients sick with the disease now than when the pandemic started, Naso said.
“It's just been remarkable, the spirit of everyone,” Naso said. “Everyone has contributed so much, personally and professionally, they put themselves at risk every day, but that's why they're in health care, and that's what I love about what we do. It truly is about extending our mission and helping those who are ill and caring for our community.”
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