I am fortunate enough as a registered nurse to work at home during this pandemic. Today is international Nursing Day, May 12, 2020. I would be re missed not to think about my colleagues and peers working in the trenches.
Concerns of COVID-19
We don’t know when this pandemic will end but the mental effects have had a tremendous affect on all essential workers. Many staff feel fearful, complain of lack of PPE (personal protective equipment), receive misinformation, and have feelings of uncertainty which add additional stress.
It has been reported that some nurses have caught COVID-19 and did not survive. I was talking to a colleague who stated she thought nurses were being taken advantage of because of our sense of duty toward the patient. This maybe true. Many nurses are working long hours (usually 12 hour shifts) and long stretches before having a day off, which is also stress producing,
As the country reopens regardless of the data or the scientist who project a resurgence of the virus, please continue to be diligent and stay well. It appears people are not social distancing or wearing mask because its their right. One of my colleagues stated in a Facebook post, if you don’t like wearing a mask, you will not like being on a ventilator.
I am hopeful I do not have to stay home all spring and summer because of the poor choices others have made related to COVID-19. How are you feeling about staying in for the next month or so? Leave me a message.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) stated 2020 is the year of the nurse, Today is Nurses Day, May 6th, and International Nurses Day is May 12th. I want to wish all my peers and colleagues Happy Nurses Day! Nurses have been deemed hero’s during COVID-19, and it’s appreciated.
Nurses are doing what they do all the time and work in stressful situations and in many cases short-staffed with difficult patients and others that are unappreciative. The pandemic has given the public a glimpse of the healthcare system and the work of those who are in the trenches daily, including physicians, respiratory therapists, housekeeping, and of course nurses.
This poem is dedicated to all the nurses out there, written by my friend and colleague Marjorie McClean RN
Happy and blessed Nurses Day. Ode to a nurse. I am a strong individual who through blood sweet and tears have earned the right to be called to this remarkable profession,
I am a registered nurse. I have stood on the shoulders of various and sundry nurses in this profession and although I may not be Florence Nightingale or Mary Seacole, I bear the brunt of tirelessly working in the trenches for the welfare of my patients.
I may not get hazard pay but the satisfaction I get from seeing someone who was told they have a minimal chance of surviving walking home with their family is more than rewarding.
I am a proud registered nurse, I am not the physician’s helper. I know my scope of practice and function in it every moment of the day. I may not wear a uniform, stethoscope or identification badge hanging from my neck but the badge of honor I wear in my heart and soul, representing this noble profession everyday.
I see my patients through the eyes of a caring, selfless compassionate nurse who refuse to give up or give in when the going is tough.
If you see my clothes soaked in body fluid which is not my own, do not take pity on me. I am protected. I practice extreme measures when it comes to infection control. My garments are impervious.
Assessment, analysis, planning, problem solving are the earmark of my profession. I walk and run immeasurable miles throughout the day ensuring my charge are getting excellent care. Improvising is the order of the day.
My strides down the hall to a waiting patient’s room is that of a gazelle, although the unexpected lay in waiting. I am about to be puked on, clean and collect some fecal specimen, start an intravenous line, clean and dress a wound, administer medication, plan a specialized menus, mop the floor, counsel a distraught patient, find or locate a home for a homeless patient, train a family to care for the discharge patient, and the need is endless in that room.
I do not eat my young, I mentor and train, passing on the knowledge encase in my cranium. Do not look at me with distain at the end of a long arduous day, when I look like a rag doll who have been poked and prodded. I am ready for my second shift, home and family.
There are many things we can do to reduce stress, and many chose different options that include exercise, meditation, cooking, watching television, movies, or creating something.
I engage in many things to manage my stress, that include Zumba, jump roping, bike riding and coloring. Yes, coloring, I shared this with a friend and he said “thats different”. I have found coloring to be an activity that is very relaxing and I do not have think about anything.
This is also a great time to learn something about yourself, and do some self reflection. This can be challenging because many do not know where to start. Take this time and search your inner soul to figure out what you can do to keep yourself centered and healthy.