ODU Graduation Year: 2017

Current Profession: ICU Nurse

Current Hometown: Washington, D.C.

What has the last couple of weeks been like for you? 

The last couple of weeks have been extremely exhausting, both emotionally and physically. The hospital is constantly updating and changing their policies as we learn more about the virus to keep us protected. Taking care of patients does not get easier. Since we have a no visitor policy in the hospital, the patients are alone and scared. Being in the ICU, the patient's condition can change in a split second. They must make decisions regarding their care without the guidance of their families. The only people they are able to interact with and express their fears to are the doctors and nursing staff. We are trying our hardest to be there for the patients because they don’t have anyone else to guide them through this horrible time, but it is starting take a toll on us providers. Seeing people die on a daily basis has started to affect the mental health of the hospital staff but we will continue to show up every day to be there for our patient's, especially since their families can’t.

What can people do to help support essential workers?

One thing I have said to my coworkers every day is that the support of the community has been so amazing. I don’t think there has been a day at work where we have not had a donated meal sent to our ICU from a local restaurant. There is constantly a community of people that has come together to support us and make sure we aren’t stressing about life necessities such as meals. After a shift I am drained physically and mentally, so knowing that I do not have to worry about cooking or going to the store has been a huge relief. Knowing we have the support from the community at a time like this is heartwarming.

Are there any tips from your organization to help everyone stay safe?

Since we are at a time in this pandemic when things are going to start opening back up, the biggest thing I can stress as we enter this next phase is to follow the guidance and direction of your state and local officials. Keep maintaining social distancing regulations and washing your hands as much as possible. I know a lot of people want to get back to their “normal lives” but we need to open back up slowly for the safety of everyone! We as Americans will overcome this, but we need to make sure we do it safely to prevent this from happening again.