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Nurses and doctors stand on hospital rooftops to pray over patients and families

Urgent calls to help doctors and nurses
First-hand accounts from health care workers battling coronavirus 01:57

Hospitals around the U.S. are becoming overcrowded with patients due to coronavirus, and health care workers on the frontlines of the pandemic are working tirelessly in the battle against it. Social media has given people at home a small glimpse into the lives of nurses and doctors during this time. Many health care workers have showed the world what they're doing when they're not working: They're praying.

"When you have a few extra minutes at work you take the time to go to the helipad and pray," Angela Gleaves, a nurse from Vanderbilt Health in Tennessee wrote on Facebook, sharing several photos of herself and some colleagues on the hospital roof.

"We prayed over the staff in our unit as well as all of the hospital employees. We also prayed over the patients and their families during this trying time. We also prayed for all of our colleagues around the world taking care of patients. It felt good to do this with some of my amazing co-workers. We could feel God's presence in the wind. Know that you are all covered in prayer," Gleaves wrote.

When you have a few extra minutes at work you take the time to go to the Helipad and pray. We prayed over the staff in...

Posted by Angela Gleaves on Monday, March 30, 2020

Jackson Health System in Miami also shared a photo of eight health care workers on a hospital roof, all kneeling in prayer. "This is how we started our morning today. Our team said a prayer, asking God for guidance and protection while we are at work, and to keep us and our families safe," said Danny Rodriguez, senior ER tech at Jackson South Medical Center.

And in Georgia, a group stood on the roof of Cartersville Hospital, their palms outstretched toward the sky. Video of the line of workers was shared on Twitter and has gone viral.

A break for prayers and calmness is a small moment of reprieve for for health care workers — some of who are working long, grueling shifts. A photographer in Seattle captured a group of nurses from the University of Washington system taking a yoga break between drive-thru testing for coronavirus.

Another trend among health care professionals is to share the darker moments of their jobs and the challenges they are facing to raise awareness among the public. Many health care workers from around the globe have posted selfies of their exhausted faces, bruised and creased from their masks.

Several included personal stories about what it's like on the frontlines: "I'm afraid to go to work," Alessia Bonari, a nurse from Tuscany, Italy, wrote on Instagram. "I'm afraid because the mask may not adhere well to the face, or I may have accidentally touched myself with dirty gloves, or maybe the lenses do not completely cover my eyes and something may have passed."

A nurse from Iowa shared a similar experience: "I broke down and cried today. I cried of exhaustion, of defeat. Because after 4 years of being an ER nurse, I suddenly feel like I know nothing," Sydni Lane wrote in her long, emotional post, which went viral.

Empire State Building lights up to honor coronavirus fighters 00:18
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