COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE
Describe what your day is like/what you do: I typically arrive 20-30 minutes before my shift so I can get my assignment and look up important information on my patients (physician's orders, etc.). After clocking in and getting report from the day shift nurses, I go to each patient and perform a complete assessment. In the midst of assessments, there's phone calls from family members asking for updates, patients requesting medications for pain, nausea or other ailments. There's always bedtime medications and others that are scheduled to be administered all throughout the night. The nursing assistants are amazing — they're providing restroom assistance (which could mean changing the patient and their bedding), they're offering snacks and beverages within the patients' ordered diets, all in addition to getting their vital signs, blood sugars and many other tasks. We (nurses) help them when we can, especially if they're assisting a patient and unable to get to another room.
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Despite working at night, many patients aren’t sleeping well. They’re uncomfortable, they’re sad, and more recently due to the restrictions, they’re lonely. I try to make them smile. I often come in singing. I have no problems getting personal with my patients — telling them I have laid in these beds many times myself. I can relate with so many of my patients from emergency surgeries for small bowel obstructions, having a total hip replacement, and as of April 30, I’m cancer free for two years! They see that I’m not just feeling sorry for them, I really do understand how it feels.
What inspired you to get into health care? I have always wanted to care for people. I guess it may have something to do with me being in the hospital having numerous procedures as a toddler because I was born with a dislocated hip.
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What's a memorable experience you've had in health care? My most memorable experience was at the VA Hospital while in nursing school. Our Sinclair Community College instructor, Vivian Jackson, put us at the bedside of a veteran who was passing away. His family had left to eat and Ms. Jackson didn't want this man who served our country to be alone in his final moments.
What do you want readers to know about your job right now: Our hours have been cut significantly. We get put on call or called off altogether and in order to keep our pay from being low, we make up those lost hours with our earned PTO, time we had hoped to use for vacations. Many of my co-workers have been placed on furlough for a month and given my level on the employment totem pole, I'll likely be in the next group. It's upsetting considering we are a family of seven, and equally, because I really love my job and I want to work. Aside from the scheduling issues because of low census due to the hold on procedures and surgeries, my job has not changed. To sum it up, we advocate for our patients. For their health, and for their comfort. We work with a host of others with the common goal of healing. I haven't sacrificed myself, jumping into the great COVID volcano. I'm just doing my job, we all are. The praises, virtual pats on the back, the gifts of food, Crocs, early shopping hours, etc., we appreciate them and we're humbled by the recognition. However, we'd all still be doing what we're doing without them. We do it for the rewards that don't come in the form of a coupon. And as for this virus, yes it's a game changer but it's definitely not the bottom of the ninth inning. I have witnessed recovery when many didn't anticipate it. I'm honored to be a nurse at Grandview providing care and emotional support to patients, their families and my co-workers.