America Together Logo

Retired officer works as nurse at New Jersey hospital, says he's 'terrified' of infecting family

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here

After serving in Operation Desert Storm and spending 25 years as a Park Ridge, N.J., police officer, Scott Laughton is finding himself in the line of fire once again in his new job as a registered nurse.

In an interview on "Fox & Friends First," Laughton said that every day battling the coronavirus pandemic is a little different at Holy Name Medical Center.


"Normally, my floor that I work on doesn't have infectious diseases on it. It's an observation unit. They shut us down in one night and we had to restructure the whole unit. And now, what we do is COVID-19 cases," he explained. "So, it's pretty much the opposite of what we were doing before."

Laughton told the "Friends First" hosts that watching his new co-workers jump right into the throes of the outbreak has "been an amazing kind of experience."

In addition, he said that although his careers were different, comparing them is "just a matter of perspective."

"They're different jobs but you need the same kind of mindset to do them," he remarked.

However, Laughton noted that he doesn't believe some Americans "quite grasp the severity of what the actual results can be."

"They don't understand the devastation that this can cause. Not only to the people themselves -- to the families, to the health care workers that are actually in there holding their loved one's hands when they're, you know, going through this," he stated.

"People can't visit their loved ones in the hospital. There are no visitors," he continued. "So, these people once they come in unless they go home and start to do better and start to go home -- which some of them are, we are discharging a lot of patients as well -- they come into the hospital and if they don't make it through this disease they never get to see their loved one again from the time they walk in the hospital."


Laughton admitted that although his emotions are magnified during the fight, he puts them aside until the end of the day when he returns home.

"The hard part for me is being terrified that I'm bringing stuff home with me to my family," he concluded. "I have a teenage son that lives with me. I don't know how I would handle [it] if, you know, I came home and infected him."