Florida XC, T&F Alumni Lead Pandemic Frontlines

Jade Miller ran track and field and cross country for Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne. She compares what she does as a nurse practitioner to running in the 4 by 800 relay. 

"I guess I would say the 4 by 800," she said. "You need to hand off your baton to your teammates and I think we deal with so many really sick patients and you need everyone on your team to work together, from the bedside nurse, to the respiratory therapist to the attendant who's on. Everyone has to do their equal part in order for the patient to do well and get out of the unit. There's a lot of different parts."

Miller and her team continue to do their part and helping patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Miller is a nurse practitioner for the California Pacific Medical Center. Her responsibilities included going in the patients room if there was a problem, or if she needed to assess the patient. Her hospital tried to minimize exposure with the patients as much as possible.

Miller works in a surgical ICU. All of the COVID patients would go to the medical team first and then once they were tapped out, they would get the overflow of patients. Thankfully for Miller, they haven't gotten that many patients.

"I've seen a few, but it hasn't been as other hospitals or other facilities," she said.

Her hospital made plans just in case they saw a surge of cases so they could be prepared. But so far, the surge that they planned for has not happened. 

The city of San Francisco took precautions early to try to limit the spread of the virus. Miller says that residents have been listening, wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines. She's also worked with patients who contracted the virus. She felt prepared to help out the patients when she had to go in their rooms.

"Anytime that I had to go in a patient's room, I had the proper N-95 and I felt like I was adequately prepared."

Miller says the hardest part of the pandemic is the unknown as well as getting used to properly taking off her PPE to make sure that she's doing it safely. She's taken extra precautions at work and at home to make sure everyone around her is safe.

Miller has kept a positive attitude throughout the pandemic and she said she hasn't been too worried. One of the things that Miller learned from running under coach Doug Butler was the mentality to keep going and to push yourself further than you thought that you could.

"He was always good about pushing those limits," she said. "And now we're in some pandemic that nobody thought was going to happen, we don't know what's going on. There's a lot of unknown. As long as you keep pushing forward and doing the best you can and then just take it one day at a time."