WORCESTER - Nicholas Marshall teaches in Assumption College's Physician Assistant program.

Right now, he's back in the ICU providing care for patients with coronavirus.

"Being in critical care, I unfortunately see the sickest of the sick that we have come through," Marshall said.

Marshall is working per diem at UMass Memorial Medical Center in a COVID-19 designated ICU.

He says hospital staff has been redeployed to support immediate needs and each day presents new information and new challenges.

"How do we treat them? What changes? Which patients are we really focusing on that may in fact be positive with this virus?," Marshall said. 

The deadliness of the virus is concerning for Marshall, who says COVID-19 kills people exponentially higher than the flu. 

Among one of the most crucial evaluations for patients is how well they're breathing.

Marshall said, "Are they able to sustain life? Breathing on their own without the need of a ventilator support. And if they do, that's what they get, and that's what they need."

Marshall says as of now, all patients are being treated as if they're positive until proven otherwise. 

And the virus is testing the abilities of the hospital.

"The amount of patients that we have been getting has really changed," Marshall said. "Our focus and emphasis on almost the whole building has been on coronavirus or COVID-19 specific patients."

Marshall says he will work in the ICU per diem for as long as he has to... And his advice for anyone who has to go to the hospital for treatment: he says only go if you really have to. ​


Photo Courtesy: Assumption College/Facebook