Helping as a beneficiary attendant and studying as a future nurse

Submitted by McGill University
October 24, 2020

My story as a student in nursing science at McGill University to this day, relates to experiences from the months of March to May 2020. It all started when the confinement was announced to the entire population. A wave of pure stress seized me at that moment. I was a nursing student at Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne in Montreal and was about to complete my technique. I was then working as a beneficiary attendant while waiting for my diploma to become CEPI at the same place where I was already working: the Sacré-Coeur Hospital in Montreal. The confinement announced, I did not understand how I was going to finish my technique when I had a clinical course and a half and half a semester of theoretical courses to complete. I was afraid that all my successes already amassed from this session would fall apart and that I would have to wait for another semester to become CEPI. Also, at the time, the school did not know how they were going to continue with the lessons so for now they were on hold. I then wanted to work more as a PAB except that my position was only a 2 shifts on 2 weeks at the time, therefore I couldn’t help as I wanted. I was anxious, very anxious. I quickly realized that my semester was not over and that I still had the chance to succeed. In addition, I was extremely lucky to be offered a 8 shifts on 2 weeks position in intensive care, on the frontlines, as an attendant and therefore really help out. Thanks to my help, the school allowed me to work more and credited the internships that I was missing given my previous grades. Unfortunately, soon after, it turned out that I was Covid-19 positive… My family was scared, but they have been careful just like me, taking the necessary measures. I did not feel very well with some symptoms for about 5 days. After that, I already felt much better. Despite everything, it took a total of 5 tests after my 2 weeks of confinement to arrive at two negative back to back tests. As soon as this was done and that I had now succeeded in my technique, at the end of May, I became CEPI on the orthopedics / surgery / trauma unit at the Hôpital Sacré-Coeur as I wanted so much . I would say that I loved my experience, but that to come out of a 3 year technique and be accepted at McGill University which was waiting for me in August to come in addition to working full time all summer because of the ministerial decree was extremely testing and sometimes difficult, but very interesting and learnative. I think those experiences were difficult yes, but brought me a lot of positive things. Throughout this journey, I have had a lot of support from my teachers, my co-workers and especially my family and my friends. I learned a lot and going through imposing obstacles like these allowed me to grow a lot from an emotional and professional point of view. I think the best way to do this is to say that we are all in the same boat and that just seeing the negative does not help to get it back on track. Yes it’s sad, yes it’s long and boring and yes it’s annoying, but instead of seeing our glass half empty like that, why not see the positive and try to accomplish our goals anyway by seeing our glass half full? It is much more satisfying and allows us to get out of it, all together.