My name is Pamela, and I am a nurse in the emergency department. I take care of any patient that comes to the hospital, including patients with suspected COVID. Because we are in charge of screening, we don’t know if they have it or not until I’ve already seen them. We wear N95 masks, goggles or face shields, gowns, and gloves and are required to practice precautions the whole time while working with patients under investigation (called PUIs).
What has been amazing in this crisis is how brave my co-workers have been. I have not heard one person complain about what we are having to do, even though we’re all leaving families and children at home, have vulnerable parents or grandparents too, and are dealing with the same pressures that everyone else is. Our whole staff has been so professional. We all make a point to leave our personal issues at the door and come into the hospital with confidence, knowing we have an important job to do.
Nursing is such a rewarding profession, and I’ve been overwhelmed with how people have shown their gratitude during this time. We’ve had to ask people to hold off on the donations because we have so many coming in. Churches have been bringing us lunch, or sending Chick-Fil-A and we get numerous texts and messages. People have come into the parking lot to pray for us. I don’t ever remember seeing this kind of solidarity and support before.
One thing I see right now is that people are waiting for COVID-19 to go away so they can be at peace. But we actually don’t know when the disease is going to go away. Viruses are something that we will have to deal with again. The thing I’ve found is that peace and conflict can actually co-exist. More than ever I’m learning that I have to act very intentionally to maintain a place of peace in my heart.