York County Medicine Summer 2020 - 28

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

FEATURE:

Retired Nurse and Veteran
Returns to Front Lines
in COVID-19 battle

T

wo years ago, Pete Guzman retired
from his duties as an Emergency
Department nurse at WellSpan
York Hospital. With his wife, two grown
children and three grandkids, he always
knew he'd stay busy in retirement -
working on cars, helping around the
house, or watching grandkids. But two
years later, Guzman can be found where
he believes he is now needed most of all -
right back with his colleagues working in
the emergency department.
"When things like this happen, if I can
be a part of the solution, then I'm going
to be there," he said.
Guzman has a rich history of serving
his country - in South America, in
southeast Asia, and most recently in Iraq,
following 9/11. This time he's serving his community in a battle
against an invisible enemy: COVID-19.
"I'm an American doing what needs to be done for his
country and his friends. I'm very patriotic. After 9/11, I was
there. Coronavirus comes to our county - my friends need help at
WellSpan York Hospital. I'm there," he said.
At 67 years old, Guzman wanted to be on the frontlines of this
battle. He believed his years of experience put him in position to
do the most good.
Over 150 retired nurses, physicians and advanced practice
clinicians expressed interest in helping during WellSpan's
COVID-19 response. In Guzman's case, he called up WellSpan to
offer his services.
WellSpan knew it would need more clinical care staff to treat
the expected influx of patients and in some cases redeployed

28

York County Medicine | SUMMER 2020

physicians, nurses and staff to system
hospitals with the greatest needs. This
is all possible because of the proactive
steps taken to intentionally reduce
patient volumes in other service areas in
anticipation of this need.
Additionally, WellSpan reached out to
non-clinical team members to understand
where there may be pockets of staff who
have previous medical experience to assist
in providing care, if needed.
As for Guzman, it's being part of that
team-effort that is the most rewarding
part of being a nurse.
"You learn to trust the people that you
work with," he said. "You evaluate what
needs to be done, and then you do the
job. It's as simple as that."
"As a soldier who served our country in combat, Pete is
already a hero to our nation," said Sandy Patchel, assistant nurse
manager for WellSpan York Hospital's Emergency Department.
"He continues to be a hero to his coworkers, patients and the
community."
No one was surprised that he came out of retirement to help
his ED family on the front lines as we fight this dangerous virus,"
she added.
But Guzman wants everyone to know it's not just his
dedication, but of everyone who works tirelessly to provide care to
those in need.
"Whatever happens tomorrow, we'll be there to take care of the
situation," he said. "My motto is K-T-F. Keep the Faith."


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York County Medicine Summer 2020

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