Jim Mullen chose to make a career change five years ago, leaving behind the chaotic life as an emergency room nurse and enrolling at the UNT Dallas College of Law. Now a personal injury lawyer with the Curtis Law Group based in Dallas, Mullen likely never thought he'd dive head-first back into the emergency room fire.
Then came along COVID-19.
As he watched the virus overwhelm hospital staffs in New York City, Mullen decided he had to help. On April 3, he left his wife and young child for a three-week assignment as a temporary nurse at a Level 1 trauma center in New York City. He completed his first 12-hour shift Sunday morning. Shortly after he spoke with Jenny B. Davis of the ABA Journal:
First off, thank you for the sacrifices you’re making to help Americans. You’ve just finished your first shift. What was it like?
It was quite the world last night. Within five minutes of getting there, I was helping to collect dead bodies around the hospital and bring them to a refrigerated 18-wheeler. We were stacking them two and three high. I think I collected seven bodies. It doesn’t mean there weren’t more, but I think they wait until there are two or three to pick up at a time.
Oh, my God. That was just a normal night?
I was actually told it was a relatively quiet night, ER-wise. One supervisor told me they have 120 patients vented across the hospital, not just in the ICU. They’ve got patients everywhere. That’s one of the reasons they need nurses because we have experience with ventilators.
To read more of the Q&A with Mullen, click here.
(Top photo courtesy of Mullen's Instagram; headshot courtesy of the Curtis Law Group)