Be Kind to Each Other
By: American Nurses Association
I’ve been a hospice nurse for six years. While death and dying is my specialty, I can’t begin to tell you how even more heartbreaking and difficult my job has been during the pandemic.
My number one goal as a hospice nurse is to offer a peaceful passage for my patients and their families during the most difficult moments of their lives. However, COVID-19 makes it harder to reach that goal. There is nothing sadder than patients suffering with COVID-19 while in hospice. My patients are already battling a terminal disease and COVID-19 only accelerates their deaths. This disease not only robs them of the precious few moments they have left to share with the people they love, it also causes them and their loved ones unnecessary suffering.
The increased number of deaths related to COVID-19 has caused me to feel severe sadness and increased anxiety. I experience so much stress and fear because it’s such a contagious and potentially fatal disease. The number of deaths I’ve experienced has increased significantly this year and some days it feels like more than I can handle.
I’m exposed to COVID-19 every day at work and because of this, I contracted the illness and pneumonia. So did my children. I was very sick and out of work for about two months. Fortunately, we were able to overcome it, but it was tough. So many are not as lucky as we were.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to wash your hands, get vaccinated, wear a face mask, social distance and take this pandemic seriously. I sanitize with bleach at home, wear proper PPE at work, and limit my family’s contact with others, but it still wasn’t enough.
If there is one thing that I wish I could tell everyone it would be just be kind to each other. Give each other grace (and space) and encourage each other to do what the CDC asks. This pandemic is proof of how much we need to love each other and support each other. We need to be kind, loving, and forgiving. Dealing with death on a daily basis has taught me the importance of that. If we can let our love for each other guide us, we can beat this.
I am so grateful to the American Nurses Foundation for their generous grant. Their help has been an unexpected and wonderful blessing, during this uncertain time. Thank you.
Please give today to the Coronavirus Response Fund, so we can help every nurse combat the mental, emotional, physical and financial stress this pandemic has caused.