Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, countless healthcare professionals have stepped up and made a huge impact. We wanted to acknowledge those who have gone above and beyond to help in this time of need. Their contributions during this pandemic have been nothing short of admirable and they deserve all the recognition. In this new series, we will be featuring a new ‘Hero of COVID-19’, starting with Monarch’s own Alana Weber.

Alana Weber, RN, MSN, CCRN, is a clinical specialist with Monarch Medical Technologies. At Monarch, she is responsible for supporting clients with the implementation and ongoing management of the EndoTool Glucose Management System.

What is your nursing background?

I’ve been a nurse for 14 years and have worked in multiple units throughout my career, including Trauma ICU and Cardiac ICU specializing in open heart surgical recovery. As a heart nurse, a large percentage of my patients had diabetes. While getting my BSN I began to learn about the value in evidence-based practice and saw an opportunity to improve care in diabetes. Knowing that improving care in diabetes would decrease the prevalence of other conditions like heart disease, I saw a great need. Diabetes is also prevalent in my family, which I connected with on a personal level. I was given an opportunity to work with Monarch Medical Technologies in diabetes care on a national level, and I felt it was such a great opportunity for me to advance care in terms of better technology and better treatment for those with diabetes.

What are you currently doing to help during the COVID-19 pandemic?

With Monarch, we are helping in a huge way by expanding units that aren’t currently being used and turning them into ICU units to take care of the COVID patients and isolate them on their own unit, away from patients dealing with heart attacks and other issues. By offering this for free, Monarch is making a huge impact on patient safety. As for my own personal role, I am working bedside on Saturdays as a registry nurse, working with both COVID and non-COVID patients.

What has been your main motivation for wanting to help during this time?

I’m very idealistic, so I do believe that nursing is a calling. Being a cancer patient as a teen, I had excellent nurses and I felt a calling to go into nursing from those experiences. I was already doing registry nursing one Saturday per month, and I decided to step it up to once a week during the COVID crisis. I’m also married to a soldier, and I see my husband sacrificing for our country on a daily basis, so the way I see it, giving up a Saturday is the best way for me to serve our country and its’ citizens in this time of need.

What has your experience been like?

There are a lot of stories about what it’s like to be a nurse right now and I can confirm a lot of that information is true. We are working with a shortage of PPE, including having to reuse gowns and continuously use the same N95 mask until the straps break. Nonetheless, despite these conditions, I’ve never seen such teamwork in the hospital and everyone being so supportive of one another than I have during this time. It’s incredibly encouraging.
I also love seeing the effort being made on the vendor side and how they are really stepping up to do their part. It’s been so amazing to see everyone work as one unit and come together through this crisis, regardless of politics or personal beliefs.

Are there any major takeaways you’ve had during your experience?

The biggest thing I’ve seen firsthand is the important role vendors have in this situation. In particular, Monarch has made a huge effort to make unit expansions a main priority and my teammates have been covering for me when I’m on call so I can continue to work bedside. Our team really does care and are always striving to put patient safety first.

What has been your favorite or the most impactful experience you’ve had while working during the COVID-19 crisis?

The most impactful, not necessarily most favorite, experience I’ve had is being the only one able to be present when one of my cancer patients passed away. Due to the high restrictions, family is not able to be there and was only able to say their goodbyes through video chat. While it was an honor for me to be there when family wasn’t able to be, I was also incredibly sad for them and how they weren’t able to be bedside with me.

We want to thank Alana for all her hard work and dedication to helping those in need during this trying time. She truly is a hero and everyone here at Monarch is incredibly proud to work alongside her.