The American Nurses Association is expanding National Nurses Week to the entire month of May in honor of those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dwayne Batad is an emergency room staff nurse at The Queen’s Medical Center.

At one point, he worked seven straight days in the hospital’s COVID-19 triage tent.

“I’d be lying if I told you it wasn’t scary at first,” Batad said about the last few months.

Batad said his job is already physically exhausting. Now the coronavirus pandemic makes it emotionally draining as well.

“I’m not going to lie to you. It’s been taxing just the sheer volume alone,” Batad said. “We were getting daily phone calls from our managers from the patients that we swabbed. They were coming back positive, a good portion, of at least the ones that I was aware of, were ending up in the ICU.”

Batad has been a nurse for over 25 years. He’s seen a lot throughout his career, but he’s never been through anything like the coronavirus pandemic before.

When a patient comes through the emergency doors, Batad treats them like family.

“You need to treat them just like your family and I’ve been there. Prior to my father passing away, he came to the emergency room almost a handful of times while I was on duty, so it hits home,” Batad said about his motivation.