By Raegan Kleppe

Shannon Lorance is a respiratory therapist that works at Texoma Medical Center in Sherman, Texas. She became a respiratory therapist in 1994 when she graduated from Collin County Community College in McKinney, Texas. Before college she went to McKinney High School and graduated from there in 1992. Lorance decided she wanted to do something in the medical field and was between nursing and respiratory. Ultimately she decided she would enjoy respiratory care more. Her favorite part about being a respiratory therapist is that she is “able to take care of patients and help them.” Her least favorite part about her job is “when I lose a patient and have to deal with that grief.”

When the Coronavirus hit the United States, she wasn’t expecting it and how much her work life would change. It didn’t change as drastically as some front-line workers have experienced because she doesn’t work in a highly infected area, but it has changed some. The main thing that has changed for them is that they have to constantly wear PPE, personal protective equipment, in case of a possible COVID-19 case coming into the hospital. This has created a scary situation that she has to deal with every day. It’s scary because they never know which patients have the Coronavirus or just have the flu.

If a patient does exhibit Coronavirus symptoms, they have to take extra precautions to ensure the patients safety and their own. They have to treat anyone showing any symptoms as if they do have the virus in order to ensure no one else in the hospital has the possibility of getting sick. They have to isolate the patient into a COVID-19 floor in order to ensure the safety of other patients in the hospital. In order to work on the COVID-19 floor, they have to make sure they have the correct personal protective equipment in order to ensure their own safety.

When she gets home every day, she has to take off her shoes in the garage and leave them out there and take her scrubs off and put them directly in the washer. After that, she makes sure to take a shower to ensure she doesn’t have the virus on her body. This is so she is able to ensure the safety of her family and that she doesn’t bring the virus into her home. Shannon Lorance is just one of the many front-line workers that are helping ensure the safety of millions.