What a week! For the past few months, nurses have earned their rightful place as FIRST responders, Never before have I seen such national attention paid to honor my chosen profession. When I practiced, the honorarium for a nurse during National Nurses Week might have been a new ‘Bic’ pen for charting!
Not only did our president state that he is going to honor nurses with a proclamation, there are numerous television commercials that I’ve seen; but it is also National Prayer Day and nurses will indubitably be honored. Nurses are in the frontlines with ventilators, they meet, assess, triage, care for, work for and with physicians.
Rare, these days, is the nurse who can state, “I had my break today” or, “I had my lunch today.” Before COVID-19 that happened sometimes, but with COVID-19? NOPE. They deserve every bit of recognition they get, they even got recognition flyovers by the “Blue Angels!”
COVID-19 became personal some time ago.A loved one’s cancer was back and was expected to take her life; she was a hospice patient for another condition; I shifted into thinking like a Hospice nurse because that was my preferred are of nursing. so I shifted into hospice nurse mode again.
The hospice unit where she resided was connected to a hospital, so strict COVID-19 isolation policies had to be followed. When people are dying, visitation to the hospital is extremely limited and in most cases it is not uncommon that loved one’s relatives usually can’t be present during death. Yesterday, my friend was told her husband could not be with her when she passes and makes her transition to an unknown world.
Can you imagine, not being able to be with your husband, the father of your children, the person you’ve lived and loved and experienced life with for 42 years when you pass? Unexpectedly, I cried and I only know this person, through family, tangentially?
Nurses are wonderful comforters and have a gift of ‘being with people’ and often they become family. But there is NO substitute for your REAL FAMILY. But COVID -19 has altered everything we do, I’m not so sure I like this part: Eventually, there will be a vaccine and things will be different, but is this the way it will be until then?
The president of the United States says ALL of us who have hunkered down, social-distanced and masked are warriors have given hope are warriors. It goes without saying that our first responders-don’t forget hospital staff, especially nurses, housekeeping, support staff-but everyone who does what they should; is a WARRIOR and we must not forget it..