Health care hero: Despite fear and anxiety, ‘we are nurses and this is what we do’

The Dayton Daily News is profiling the people who work hard every day to save lives and take care of us. Nominate a Health Care Hero by emailing

Name: Amanda Thomas

Hometown: Englewood

Job Title: Registered Nurse

Where do you work: full time in the Emergency Department at Miami Valley North and part time on an advance care pulmonary unit at Miami Valley Hospital.


Describe what your day is like/what you do: As an Emergency Department nurse, I work closely with a team of physicians, other nurses, radiology and EMTs to treat patients who require urgent care.

What inspired you to get into health care: My mother was my inspiration. She has been in a wheelchair since 1983 and she still was a bedside nurse and unit manager for 31 years before she finally retired in 2005. I saw this amazing, compassionate, loving woman comfort so many people and decided that is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be that comfort for others.

What do you want readers to know about your job right now: I would like to thank the readers and the community for their support, donations and well wishes that myself and my coworkers have received. I walk into work and on the walls and sidewalks written in chalk are words of inspiration — the simple things that remind us why we do what we do.

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It is truly a wonderful blessing to see how everyone is working together to get through these hard times. We all are really in this together. This has affected every one of us, and we will get through this as a community and nation.

I guess what I would like readers to know about my job right now is how much anxiety and fear health care workers have about going into work every day. The high anxiety is about the fear of being the one that makes your loved ones sick, the fear of losing a patient to something we can’t seem to get a handle on, and the fear of the unknown. However high the fear and anxiety is, we are nurses and this is what we do: We are empathetic, compassionate and adaptable individuals who show up every day because we care.

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I am fortunate to work in an area and a company that has had time to prepare, plan and protect their workers as much as they can. Every day it seems there are updates and meetings on how to better protect not just the workers, but the patients and public, as well. Things have not been ideal but there is only so much we can do if the equipment is not yet available.