Gerry Elsbernd: Briar Cliff Graduate Shares COVID-19 Fight | Briar Cliff University

Gerry Elsbernd: Briar Cliff Graduate Shares COVID-19 Fight

Rochester, MN
Nursing


Previously, we were doing numerous surgeries and procedures prior to the cancelation of elective procedures, which kept our ICU busy and relatively full. After those procedures were put on pause, our census fell significantly and made our unit feel vacant. Now, we are starting to return back to some normalcy as the surgical volumes are starting to increase as more elective procedures are allowed again.


— Gerry Elsbernd
Rochester, MN
Nursing

Drawn to Briar Cliff University as it was a small college with a beautiful campus on a hill, Gerry Elsbernd, 2014 nursing alumnus, leans on his education as he joins the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently a surgical/trauma ICU nurse at Mayo Clinic, Gerry assists with managing a unit that handles patients who have had cardiovascular procedures, pacemakers, ablations, heart bypasses, or experienced a horrific accident.

“No visitors have been allowed since March 22. Now they are beginning to allow a single visitor per patient, with some exceptions, but they can only to be in the hospital for a couple hours and are required to wear a mask,” shares Gerry. “Previously, we were doing numerous surgeries and procedures prior to the cancelation of elective procedures, which kept our ICU busy and relatively full. After those procedures were put on pause, our census fell significantly and made our unit feel vacant. Now, we are starting to return back to some normalcy as the surgical volumes are starting to increase as more elective procedures are allowed again.”

Gerry also shares Mayo Clinic’s efforts in improving the fight against this pandemic, through their trial for antibody therapy, where they are using antibodies from a person who has had COVID-19. “The antibody therapy attempts to help jumpstart someone’s immune system to help them fight off the virus,” adds Gerry. “It seems to be helping in some cases, unless other underlying health issues are complicating the illness concurrently.”

Recently, Vice President Mike Pence came to visit Mayo to recognize them for their efforts to increase local and state testing and to see their convalescent plasma program. The Vice President also praised the State of Minnesota’s “moonshot” effort to increase the state’s daily testing to 20,000 per day between Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Health, and other private laboratories.

Overall, the county and surrounding area near Rochester has had stable numbers of virus cases, while there have been significant increases in other parts of the state due to meat packing plant outbreaks. Mayo Clinic, the State of Minnesota, and Olmsted county have many contingency plans to enact should the need arise if the cases continue to rise.

Thank you, Gerry, for caring for your community.

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Tags: Nursing