TN National Guard nurses step in amid COVID-19 outbreak at Gallatin nursing home


GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Gallatin nursing home continues to reel from a recent COVID-19 outbreak that has killed three residents.

The Tennessee National Guard stepped in, conducting mass testing and sending nurses to help treat patients.

After 17 years as a nurse, Lt. Rachel Shearin’s latest task was to suit up to be on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak at the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing.

“I think being in the Tennessee National Guard, we’re always prepared, we’re always vigilant, on guard,” said Lt. Shearin. “First thing I see are nurses running around, doing everything for patients.”

For three hours on Sunday, Lt. Shearin’s focus was to use her expertise as an ER nurse to help support staff after the outbreak struck dozens of the facility’s staff.

“In the ER, we are not expected to wear the Type X suits and so I’m wearing my uniform and I have a Type X suit on, it was very hot,” said Lt. Shearin. “I was able to help 10 patients and it was pretty amazing. They were missing the human interaction and I was able to tell them what was going on in the community.”

Some of Lt. Shearin’s colleagues like Lt. Shawn Arkon were tasked with helping in other ways, like working security.

“I am a nurse as well. I’m not necessarily a trained security professional, but when we got on scene that was a task that needed to be done,” said Lt. Arkon.

Their willingness to step up came at a time of such uncertainty.

“I feel that the unsung heroes here are the nurses, the doctors, and the EMS that are working this day in and day out,” said Lt. Shearin.

Their commitment – unwavering.

“I signed up for this. I love Tennessee. I love the Tennessee Guard. I would do anything to serve Tennessee,” said Lt. Arkon.

“Absolutely, I second that,” said Lt. Shearin.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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