FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Spc. Kylee Pavlick, a combat medic with the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, Pennsylvania National Guard, is also a nurse on the front lines fighting against COVID-19.Originally from Northampton, Pavlick works full-time as a nurse at Geisinger Holy Spirit, a hospital near Harrisburg, and cares for COVID-19 patients.“I was working on a cardiovascular unit, which was turned into the COVID floor,” said Pavlick. “The care is different, but it’s still nursing. Though we try to limit exposure, we are still providing the best care possible.”After graduating high school, Pavlick said she was unsure of what to do for a career and joined the Army National Guard.“I went to Basic and AIT at Fort Sam Houston to become a medic,” said Pavlick. “I then realized that I wanted to do more and learn more.”When she got home from advanced individual training, she applied to nursing school and attended Lock Haven University. Just a year after graduating and becoming a licensed nurse, she found herself on the COVID unit.Despite being asked to respond to a pandemic so early in her nursing career, Pavlick says she wasn’t fazed by it and was ready to step up and help these patients.“I became a nurse because I wanted to care for people and wanted to do more for people in need. So, though there are risks to take care of these patients, someone still has to do it,” said Pavlick. “I take all precautions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Such as wearing a mask, wearing the correct PPE when caring for these patients, hand washing.”The emphasis on personal hygiene and personal protective equipment are what she describes as the most significant differences between her regular duties and her duties caring for COVID-19 patients. But another difference is how this pandemic has impacted health care workers and patients.“They don’t have the capability to have their families with them during hospitalization,” said Pavlick. “When their families cannot come in to see them, we are their families and their support.”The 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade is preparing for a deployment to the Middle East. Those preparations require the brigade to gather for essential training. Medics like Pavlick are on hand to provide care in case a Soldier requires medical attention and to ensure Soldiers are following COVID-19 mitigation directives.Having cared for COVID-19 patients and seeing the effects of the virus first hand, she makes sure her fellow Soldiers are doing their part to prevent the spread of the virus.“I wish people would understand how complex the virus is. Yes, people with more health issues are more at risk for more complications, but it does not discriminate. The virus affects everyone differently,” said Pavlick. “The quarantine isn’t only helping you but the others that need the protection.”For more National Guard news: http://www.nationalguard.mil/National Guard Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheNationalGuard/National Guard Twitter: https://twitter.com/usnationalguardHow the National Guard is helping: https://www.nationalguard.mil/coronavirus/Photos of the National Guard response: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenationalguard/albums/72157713483827538Latest from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/U.S. response: https://www.coronavirus.gov/White House-CDC response: https://www.coronavirus.gov/