BOSTON (WHDH) - Local nurses tell 7NEWS they are feeling the pressure of the coronavirus outbreak, as they try to respond to the rising number of patients while also trying to avoid infection themselves.

Over the weekend, both Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Brigham and Women’s hospital reported a case of the novel virus among their staff.

“Never in a million years did I think me, as a nurse, would be on the front line of something like this,” said Marie Caulfield, a nurse at the Brigham. “It’s just unsettling.”

Caulfield has worked as a nurse at the hospital for about 16 years and said she thinks the hospital is doing a great job keeping staff updated on this ever-changing situation.

But the Massachusetts Nurses Association said that more needs to be done to keep healthcare workers safe.

The group is working on getting hospitals to test more patients faster, dedicate a floor just for coronavirus patients, and allow nurses to volunteer to take on those cases.

They are also advocating for more protective gear and daycare for the children of the healthcare workers.

“There is definitely a need for more equipment,” said Christine Pontus, of the MA Nurses Association. “Trying to keep the numbers more level so they’e not swamping the hospitals so they have the personal protective gear for the numbers they’re taking care of.”

In the end, Caufield said no matter how bad things get, nurses will do their jobs.

“This is what we signed up for and we’re here to take care of our patents, our community,” she said.

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