ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico healthcare workers are taking on new roles as they help wherever they can during the pandemic. One longtime nurse just made the jump from the clinic and office setting to the front line.

Brenda Minton is a registered nurse with the Presbyterian Medical Group, typically working in a doctor’s office or clinic-type setting. Last month, she was called to take on a new role.

“There were conversations at our building that we were going to be needing to have some of our nurses redeployed so that we could train up,” said Minton. “Typically, my day-to-day is working in a doctor’s office.”

Minton and others have moved into various positions at Presbyterian’s Main Hospital. They’re filling the roles of nurses who are moving to the Intensive Care Unit to care for the most critical COVID-19 patients.

“I’m going from outpatient to med-surg,” said Minton. “They’re going from med-surg to ICUs.”

After a few weeks of preparation, Minton is now on the med-surg floor, helping care for non-COVID-positive patients with everything from congestive heart failure to gallbladder surgery. She says while it’s unlikely she’ll be further-moved to care for COVID-19 patients, she’s still learning as much as she can.

“I’ve been a nurse for a long time and I’ve done a lot of care,” said Minton. “Step by step, it’s coming back to me.”

With 36 years of service in the healthcare industry, she says there’s still a learning curve in the new role. However, she says it’s also the proudest moment of her life, reminding her why she became a nurse in the first place.

“Taking care of people is in my heart today,” said Minton. “It always will be as long as I can carry my stethoscope.”

Minton says she and other nurses will be deployed in these temporary positions for as long as they’re needed during the pandemic. They have not been given a date yet as to when they may return to their former positions.

May is also National Nurses Month. The American Nurses Association expanded National Nurses Week to a month-long celebration in May, celebrating those working on the front lines.