Erin Colmar

You just do the job

Erin reflects on how the MSICU, over the last year, learned to take on pediatric patients and then transformed into the COVID unit.

portrait of Erin Colmar, nurse at UC Davis Health


Love the sickest ICU adult patient. Love it. That's what I'm here for. That's what I became a nurse for. Love the drips, love the whole thing. Get a pediatric patient ... I don't know if you could see my face, but it's that emoji, oh, you know? Oh, my gosh. Don't know how to take care of a peds patient. Then getting the education and, "Oh, we can handle this. No, we got this. Yeah, no problem." And then got sicker ones and vented ones and tubed one or more, did ECMO, started ECMOs, went that route. But we dealt with it. And again, peer support helped a lot with that. Then kind of went back a little bit more critical care.

Then all of a sudden wham into COVID. Yeah, so I didn't tell anybody, but I went home one of those first days, and I just cried because I was scared. I was super-scared. Still a little nervous. I think you look back at all the nurses back East. I think that's where you look at first, and is that going to hit here? So, yeah, still thinking about that; but hopefully, we're doing well by having everyone stay in, and we're going to beat this. I know it'll come back, but I think over time, I think that a lot of us have become a lot more comfortable. It's like the peds patients, once you know what you have to deal with, and you just do that job.