Travel Nurse Darlean's COVID-19 Hospital Experience in Tacoma, WA

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By The Gypsy Nurse Staff

April 23, 2020



Travel Nurse Darlean’s COVID-19 Hospital Experience in Tacoma, Washington

In the above video, Darlean went live in The Gypsy Nurse Facebook group to share her COVID 19 hospital experience as a travel nurse in Tacoma, Washington on a COVID-19 unit.

Just like Emily, Darlean says that the way things are done on the unit changes every day.


Darlean discussed the PPE situations at the hospital she is currently working at. She said that they are using bunny suits and surgical caps. They had been using their shields 30 times before replacing them, however, someone in the community made a new type of the plastic piece so they are single-use now. They had been on high restrictions at first in terms of N-95s and face shields. But, it has gotten better because they have rationed the PPE. The N-95s are now being reused. They are sent downstairs at the end of their shift and sanitized. They are sent back up and ready for their next shift.

Set-up of the COVID Unit

Prior to being used as the COVID unit the floor was a CCU/CVICU. The hospital put up walls to block off the unit from the rest of the hospital. It is also the top floor of the hospital. All the patient rooms were made into negative pressure rooms.


When the unit was first created it was staffed with any hospital staff, they then decided to take volunteers. It was then decided to use the same staff members. This was done to make sure the staff knew the way the unit worked as it does change daily.


The staff sanitizes every surface they can every 4 hours. This is done no matter what they are doing at the time. Darlean says they stop what they are doing and sanitize what they can.


The COVID floor utilizes runners. They have dirty and clean techs and CNAs. The dirty runners are ones that can go into the rooms with nurses to assist as needed. The clean runners do errands that are needed off the floor such as running labs or going to get things from the cafeteria to name a couple.

There are no emergencies in a pandemic

Darlean says that no one will enter rooms until they are all suited up in PPE. The staff’s safety comes first.


Darlean says she has always kept a separate pair of shoes in her trunk. She now changes before she leaves, bags her clothes, and then changes her shoes to the clean ones in her trunk after her shift. Darlean says her hospital does allow staff to shower there prior to leaving, she hasn’t but it is allowed. She also says that many other staff members are bringing 2 changes of clothing as well. Darlean has a plan in place with her roommates in the event that she is exposed or does get the virus. She suggests having the discussion with whoever you are renting your housing from to avoid being forced to leave if you should contract the virus.

COVID-19 Resources

We hope you found the information that Darlean shared of her COVID 19 hospital experience helpful. If you would like to read more COVID-19 articles click here. If you would like to look for a position at a COVID 19 hospital click here.

Are you working on a COVID unit? Would you like to share your COVID hospital experience? Comment them below or click here to contact us to share your story.

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

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