Former UF soccer player serves as a nurse in COVID-19 hotspot NYC

Shana Hudson
Posted at 1:20 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 18:08:04-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A former Florida Gators soccer player is on the front lines of a hot spot of COVID-19 in New York City.

Shana Hudson finished her soccer career at the University of Florida in 2007, leading the Gators to back-to-back SEC titles in 2006-07. She graduated from UF with a criminology degree.

She later went on to get a nursing degree from UNF, then a Master’s in CRNA Nursing Anesthesia at South Florida. She had a job all lined up at AdventHealth, but due to COVID-19, her start date kept being pushed back.

“If Florida doesn’t need me right now, especially with what I’ve been training to be, a nurse anesthetist. Where am I going to be needed the most? That’s New York City,” Hudson said.

She is in the second week of a four-week contract at a hospital in Manhattan.

“When I first got here, I was shocked in a sense,” she said.

Hudson says the most difficult part of the job is being that emotional support for patients who are dying alone.

“It was also scary for patients that would otherwise be healthy come into the ER, give them the phone and tell their families goodbye before we intubate them,” Hudson said. “80 to 85 percent of the patients we had on a breathing tube didn’t survive. It was morbid. Very morbid.”

However, Hudson says admission rates have gone down in the last couple of days. But the job still takes its toll mentally and physically.

“Wearing an N-95 mask for 12 hours straight, it’s hard to breath in them,” Hudson said. “When I leave the hospital my throat feels sore and I’m questioning 'do i have COVID-19, or am I getting a sore throat?'”

The apex of the virus is supposed to hit Florida at the end of the month. Hudson says that is perfect timing for her to come home and help here in Tampa.