Nurse travels despite bad weather to save lives

Published: Dec. 9, 2019 at 8:36 PM CST
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Some people can't simply stay home when the weather and the roads get rough. Essential personnel have to show up.

Nurse Andy Diaz Gonzalez works at the Sanford Hospital in Bismarck. She wakes up every morning around 3 to get her workout in, then starts work around 5, saying the patients make it all worth it.

Driving in North Dakota's winter weather isn't so bad with a four wheel drive pick-up. But before Andy clocks in, a lot of planning goes into her day.

"I always plan the night before, I usually get up about 3:15 or 3:20 in the morning," said Diaz Gonzalez.

She's been a nurse in the Oncology Department for 15 years.

"You get a lot of relationships with different people, you just start to feel a part of their family and an obligation to them," she said.

Ted Johnston makes the trip from Watford City to get treatments for cancer, but he says it's because of nurses like Andy, that he wouldn't want to go anywhere else.

"She's just so kind and anything you ask for you get, it's really a nice place to be," said Johnston.

Before Andy gets on the road, she lets the other nurses know what the winter weather is, it allows them to make sure patients are taken care of despite possible delays.

"The things that they have to go through and you see that, the little effort of driving an hour each way is nothing to the life battle they have," said Diaz Gonzalez.

She says she will continue to give her patients the best possible care she can.

Andy says she and a few other nurses in the oncology department all participate in crossfit together, a high intensity workout. It's to remind them that feeling pain or discomfort for an hour, is nothing compared to what their patients deal with on a day to day basis.