This really stressful and really hard, and I’m thankful that I went to a school that prepared me for something like this.
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Grad
Kris Johnson was called to a career in nursing after her sister, Kim, died of breast cancer. When she graduated from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in 2018, she never could have imagined where her nursing education would take her.
Kris is currently employed at a hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, but volunteered to go to New York City, when it was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. She wanted to go where she was really needed. There, she worked at a Queens hospital packed with coronavirus patients – all of whom were suffering from pulmonary distress.
“It [was] madness,” she says. “It [was] literally like being in a war zone.”
The intense duty she felt in New York made Kris appreciate the skills she gained at A-B Tech. “This [pandemic has been] really stressful and really hard, and I’m thankful that I went to a school that prepared me for something like this.” Kris says she’s thankful to have been on the front lines.
Even now, every time Kris suits up in her personal protective equipment, she tries not to think of the risks she faces. “I’m pulling all of my critical thinking and all of my critical care skills and everything, all the time, for 12 hours, on every single patient,” she said.
“I went into nursing to help people. If I can end my shift knowing that I made a difference in just one person’s life, I can continue on to my next shift,” she says. “Nursing is my passion.”