Florida XC, T&F Alumni Lead Pandemic Frontlines

For Lindsey Putnam, being a nurse in the midst of a pandemic has presented its challenges, as she continues to try to keep herself and her patients that she comes across safe.

"It's been interesting," she said. "I think as with the rest of the world, everyone is trying to figure it out as we go."

Putnam, who ran track and field as well as cross country for Holy Trinity, is an Obstetrics and Gynecology nurse practitioner at UF Health in Jacksonville. She's worked there since 2016.

After seeing a drop off in patients for a little over a month, her office has started to pick up with patients coming in for appointments. Because of the nature of her job and what she's required to do, practicing social distancing in the office during appointments is hard.

"It's a little more difficult to distance the space between yourself and a patient, just because it is such an intimate specialty," she said.

As a nurse practitioner, she has her own channel of patients and her responsibilities include seeing patients for routine things as well as doing in-office procedures. She says that she has a lot of patients that are anxious about delivering their babies during the pandemic.

"I have a lot of patients who are anxious about delivering in a hospital setting," she said. "..A lot of women are nervous and scared about having one person accompanying them through delivery...and a lot of it is the unknown and worrying about exposure to their baby if there's a positive case, which fortunately we have not had."

For Putnam, the unknown has been the most difficult part of working through the pandemic.

"The fear of the unknown, how bad was it going to get and am I going to get exposed in the hospital setting," she said. 

Putnam was a member of Holy Trinity's first state championship attributes the discipline of track and field as well as the confidence she gained during her years being coached by Doug Butler has helped her do her job during the pandemic. She believes that this confidence helps her feel more confident as a nurse when dealing with patients. 

"I felt that he was a positive role model in my life," she said. "..I feel like I was able to express my thoughts and feelings..I felt like I came out of my shell during that period of time especially when I was running, I became more confident in myself and I feel like that's transitioned through school and my professional life..I would say that in addition to the discipline, it also helped me gain that personal confidence."