Protecting Myself to Serve My Patients
By: American Nurses Association
I’ve always loved my profession. As nurses, we are often the go-to support team for people in the most need. We become part of our patients’ families, playing the most crucial role of advocate for our patients and their needs. We must be prepared for every situation, no matter what happens.
In March of 2020, we were not prepared for what we were about to face.
It was a panic situation. News of COVID-19 was everywhere, but no one seemed to know how to treat it and it was taking us down quickly. Most of my coworkers tested positive for COVID-19 and had to quarantine. That meant we all had to step up. I often worked 16 hour shifts to cover staff shortages because so many of us were getting sick.
Shortages on staff created shortages for care — we were often down to one nurse for 30 patients. It was a heavy workload and I often found myself crying. I often felt like there was nothing I could do to help my patients as they were dying. It was very traumatic for the families as they were not able to see their loved ones while they were being treated.
Being on the frontlines, often the best I can do to help my patients is prevent myself from getting infected so that I can continue to care for them. COVID-19 is so very contagious, and I try my best to protect myself, but at times I feel as though infection is inevitable. I am mentally prepared to take it on and take care of myself so that I can take care of others.
I am so thankful for the support of the American Nurses Foundation. They offer much needed motivation to us on the frontlines. I know that they appreciate my work every day.
I am grateful that I am a nurse and I am honored to be a part of this community.
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.