Beaumont Dearborn nurse began her career during pandemic and hasn’t left: ‘This is where I need to be’

This is who I am,” says Lissa Yancey

A new nurse shared her nursing career journey.

DEARBORN, Mich – We often hear from healthcare workers during the COVID pandemic because of the hardship they face as they continue to their job.

Some like Lissa Yancey had a choice while taking on her nursing job as she walked into a pandemic.

“I didn’t think this is what I would be graduating into; that’s for sure,” Yancey said.

Yancey has been a nurse at Beaumont Dearborn for less than two years now, as the pandemic began while she was in nursing school.

“We heard of COVID, that was not in the U.S. yet,” Yancey said. ”But, we didn’t think it was anything to worry about, and then we never went back.”

Yancey finished her nursing degree virtually. Then, she got the job at Beaumont, where she was immediately assigned to the floor, which instantly became the hospital’s first COVID unit.

Everyone was afraid, including her.

“It’s all terrifying,” Yancey said. “But the beginning of COVID was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed. Nobody knew how to treat it, and nobody knew if they were going to die.”

Yancey will admit that she and her co-workers sometimes questioned if the hospital was the right place to be.

“Everybody will tell you that has gone through our heads at least probably 100 times,” Yancey said. “But this is where I need to be, this is who I am, and this is what I want to be doing.”

It is because of the patients.

“When you go in, and they’re terrified, and you’re talking to them, and they say ‘thank you, you have no idea how much this means to me,’’ Yancey said. “Holding their hand as they say ‘thank you for putting your life on the line to help me?’ That’s the end all be all. You are there for them, and that’s what makes it worth it.”

About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.