These inspirational acts will lift your spirits.
With new updates occurring frequently, finding out concrete facts about the COVID-19 pandemic can be difficult. What we do know is that nurses and midwives across the globe are working tirelessly to help patients battle this challenging virus. Nurses everywhere are facing upheaval battles that deserve our upmost respect. With more and more hospitals filling to capacity, midwives are helping expectant mothers with home deliveries at alarming rates.
Every nurse and midwife is a hero and should be celebrated as such on a daily basis. We've put together a list of some of the heroic acts of these people during the crisis. We also caught up with Mary Santerre, a Nurse Educator and Registered Nurse at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. and asked her thoughts on the current situation. Let's do our best to not only celebrate these actions, but the actions of every nurse and midwife risking their health just to make sure we're healthy.
How has the COVID-19 virus changed your daily life as a nurse?
Pre COVOD-19, I worked a nurse educator. I coordinated orientation, continuing education and quality improvement projects for our department. During COVID-19, I have been redeployed. We were the first hospital in our region to launch in-house COVID-19 testing for employees and inpatients. I was asked to manage and lead the implementation of the employee screening site, which ensures that if any member of our care team was infected, we could remove them from service and prevent spread to patients or other employees. The focus of my work before was educating our team of nurses about the care of pediatric patients. Now our team has rallied to not only care for the patients in the hospital but also care for our coworkers.
What measures are you taking to ensure everyone (including you) stays healthy?
We have set up an employee COVID -19 testing center here at the hospital so that any employee that has been determined to need screening is able to get the test quickly. It is important that our employees know their results as quickly as possible so that they can first and most importantly, keep themselves and their families safe and also so that they can find out if they can continue to take care to our patients.
Has the COVID-19 virus changed the way you view hygiene?
We have always been trained in and used proper infection prevention practices but I think the change during COVID-19 is that we are working together to help each other do it. In the employee testing area, we tell everyone that it doesn’t matter what your role is here, don’t be shy. If you see something that you don’t think is right, speak up. It’s not unusual to hear an administrative assistant remind a physician or nurse to “change your gloves” or “do hand hygiene.” And they respond, “yes, thank you!”
Personally, I am much more careful when I get home. I take my work shoes off at the front door and leave them outside on the porch. I then immediately take a shower and put my scrubs in the laundry before I interact with anyone in my house. I live with my husband and four sons so I am trying to be extra vigilant about what I bring into our home.
Have there been any scenarios you’ve experienced relating to the pandemic that you can share?
I don’t have any one particular story to share but I have just been so amazed by the grit and determination of all of my coworkers who have continued to come in and care for our patients while they have had some scary things going on in their personal lives. Many have sick family members or loved ones who are hospitalized out of state that they are unable to be with and they continue to come to work and care for others. The teamwork too has been incredible. When we began planning the employee testing site, individuals came together from many different departments including nursing, human resources, occupational health, lab medicine, environmental services, security, and more. Most of us had never worked together before, but within twenty four hours we went from an empty unused space to an active testing site sending specimens to the lab.
How do you feel as a healthcare provider during this pandemic?
Wow, so many mixed feelings. At first I was envious of my friends who got to work from home but now I am grateful for the opportunity to be helping. I get nervous not knowing what to expect at work but when I get here I am confident in our team. I am sad that I can’t see family members that don’t live with me, especially my two young granddaughters, but thankful for FaceTime and happy that they are safe and healthy. I am appreciative of all the support nurses have received from our nursing leadership and from the community, but feel guilty knowing there are so many others within the healthcare system and community that are doing so much and not getting recognition. Mostly, I am proud. I am proud to be a nurse during COVID-19.