“I am here for you”

Submitted by Mcgill University
October 24, 2020

In June, I was a nursing student who was afraid of starting her new career as a CEPI. My new job was in the emergency unit, with new people and without a teacher to check if I was doing everything correctly. With the COVID-19 situation, I was not just afraid anymore, I was terrified. I will remember my first day as a CEPI for the rest of my life. I was putting my first step in the emergency unit, seeing patients placed between four white walls. Every health care provider was wearing masks and glasses as protection. During my first day, the only question running through my head was, will I be able to make it through and be a good nurse? After one week, I noticed something important: the patients were as terrified as me. They were left alone, they couldn’t have any physical support from their loved ones and didn’t know when they would be discharged. What they needed was support and follow-ups on their plan of care. I had patients who received diagnostics where they had one year or maybe two left to live. It is hard to stay calm and it takes a lot of strength to be able to stay at the hospital alone and tell your loved one this news through the phone. I learned being a nurse is not only administering pills, taking vital signs, doing nursing evaluations, etc. Fifty percent of our job is to be present for our patients as much as possible in this COVID situation. So, my advice for the health care providers is that the patients you will encounter may not all think about their Pantoloc or how their blood pressure is, they may only need someone to take their hand and tell them “I am here for you”.