The Group Portrait: Working Wave After Wave at Elmhurst
New York magazine|March 1-14, 2021
Approaching 365 days in a hard-pressed hospital.
Anna Silman

ANDREA ROBERTSON has swabbed thousands of noses since she was first assigned to oversee the covid-19 testing tent outside Elmhurst Hospital one year ago. The head nurse of ambulatory care began testing patients last March, and she hasn’t stopped since—8 a.m. to 4 p.m., often seven days a week. In those early days, Robertson was afraid of passing the strange new virus to her family, including her elderly parents. “I remember a patient said to me, ‘I can’t go back home because I’m positive and I have nowhere to go.’ And that hit me really hard because I know what it is like,” she says. But with lines of patients snaking around the block, there was no time for self-doubt. “I had to roll up my sleeves, get my anxiety levels together, and be there for my patients.”

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