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East Texas nurses travel to SA, New Braunfels to help displaced patients

13 nurses slept on stretchers, hospital beds to lend helping hand

SAN ANTONIO – Thirteen nurses from East Texas prepared to depart San Antonio Tuesday morning after spending four days working in local hospitals to lend an extra hand to patients displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

"They needed us,” Connie Burkland said. “They needed extra hands to help out with the extra patients.”

The nurses came from CHRISTUS St. Michael’s in Texarkana and Atlanta, Texas, to work in hospitals in San Antonio and New Braunfels.

“I’ve done medical missions in other countries, and this was the opportunity to do a medical mission in my country,” Burkland said.

The nurses spent four days working, eating and sleeping in the hospitals -- sometimes on stretchers.

"It’s still nursing. Supplies may be in different places. The charting may be different, but it’s still the basic foundation of nursing–giving care,” Micah Johnson said. “And if you can do that where you are, you should be able to do that anywhere.”

The nurses volunteered to go, but their patients didn't get a choice. Harvey made the decision for them.

"A lot of them, their families couldn’t actually visit them,” Burkland said. “So they were there by themselves. I just wanted them to have comfort and know that somebody cares about them.”

“It’s what nurses do. We get out there and we work and we see somebody in need, no matter where you live at,” Johnson said. “Down south or wherever it is, it’s a calling.”

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