Deborah McGowen retired just before the pandemic hit. But she’s stepping out of retirement and volunteering to help after seeing what her former co-workers are going through.
“I graduated from St. Anthony school of nursing back in 1975,” said McGowen.
She had hung up her white coat after 44 years as a registered nurse in October of 2019.
“I was out long enough I was just getting ready to come back and volunteer when the COVID-19 happened and they weren’t allowing any volunteers,” said McGowen.
Not being able to help was gut wrenching for McGowen.
With a nursing shortage in the state already she knew the uphill battle nurses on the frontlines were facing.
“It was heartbreaking for me because I know how hard nurses and all health hcare workers strive to do the best and most excellent job and I can’t imagine being everything to a patient,” said McGowen.
When the COVID-19 vaccines finally arrived in Oklahoma McGowen jumped at the opportunity to help with vaccinations.
“I have gone through the process and I am now a COVID vaccinator,” said McGowen.
Being able to offer hope to health care workers she said is overwhelming and emotional.
“Because I wasn’t able to be here and help how I used to help, this was a small way I could come back and give back to a place that has given me so much,” said McGowen.
McGowen said there are multiple vaccinators who stay busy all day. She also mentioned they are now giving the second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to some.