“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Jessica, Stephanie and Amy. (Photo MWCN)
Over the last 10 months, we have often heard praise for our Health Care Workers. We hear stories of their efforts and admire their dedication. Occasionally we hear their pleas for vigilance and assistance in battling this virus that has taken so much from so many. I recently spoke with 3 young health care professionals that grew up in our community, to get insight into what they are living, how they cope, and the messages they want to share.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Jessica feels her biggest challenge has been keeping up with the constantly changing protocols. For new nurses it has been especially hard to keep up with all the changes, and at the same time ensure that other patients, and staff are not put at risk. When Jessica tested Covid positive, she was very sick and at the same time hated the fact she wasn’t with her team at work helping. The long isolation was hard on her mental health. Jessica loves being a Nurse. She thrives on caring for her patients and making them feel as comfortable as she can. She credits her patients with giving her the. drive to keep going, saying that seeing them get better, and their smiles returning makes her reflect on how she is a part of a team that helps and heals. If there is one word, that she could use to describe her motivation it is “gratitude”.
“The gratitude of having the opportunity to be a part of the peoples lives and hopefully one day they’ll think of me and it brings them happy thoughts.” Being a new nurse sometimes can find you in situations where you are not sure of yourself or not sure if you did something correctly. Recently, a co-worker told her “You fit the team so well. This small comment”, confirmed to Jessica that she is exactly where she belongs. Jessica’s message to our communities is : “We must stay positive. Yes, it’s much easier said than done. But no one truly see’s how powerful positivity is.”
Transplant and ENT Registered Nurse
Working on a transplant floor means working with people that are going through some intense and complicated procedures and surgeries. At times, when no one is allowed to visit, Stephanie finds it is very difficult for her patients. Knowing they are “alone” and frightened, without a family member for support, is at time heart- breaking.
There are positive moments too. Stephanie recalls one of her patients that had been hospitalized for over a year. This patient contracted Covid, survived and he finally got to go home. It was a great feeling to be able to see someone who had gone through the worst, get better and get to go home. Stephanie misses being with her family, especially their hugs, but credits her fiancé with being a great support. Co-Workers have become like family. The great thing about working so closely with a team is that for the most part, you all understand what each other is going through and dealing with. They are there for each other. Stephanie’s message to the community is : “Please check in on people. Even sending a simple message that says I was thinking of you. How are you? Can make a huge difference.”
Licensed Practical Nurse
Amy has worked in the hospital, CHSLD and the Covid Hotel setting during the last year. Almost all of her work has been in ‘Hot’ zones. When she found out for the first time she was being sent out to a Hot Zone, she was very concerned. The fear of Covid, of new people, places and protocols was at times a lot to deal with.
The community has made many small gestures that showed appreciation to hospital staff, and that meant a lot. Having received small gifts, food, care packages, goodies, and hand written letters, it was clear the community cared.
Supportive and encouraging staff have helped keep her focused, and the smiles and gratitude of her patients mean everything to her. Amy loves her patients and feels they keep her motivated to be there to follow through with them. She feels a responsibility to see them through to the end. There is joy when they get to go home, or to a ‘Cold’ floor, and there is solace in staying by those that die.
Amy’s, message to the community is clear… “Stay home…. We are tired.”
MWCN Project Coordinator