If not us then who?

Submitted by Mcgill University
October 30, 2020

I have a friend who was working during the start of the first wave up till now. While she was working back in my country, I was studying to be a nurse in a foreign land. She recounted how healthcare workers are often targeted and subjected to discrimination. She stated that she had to ride her bike from home to work and vice versa because drivers reject healthcare workers from riding buses, taxies or any other mode of transportation. There were times where she’ll reach home at dawn because of the distance she has to travel. In addition, healthcare workers are also forbidden from eating in cafeterias or restaurants due to the people’s fear of contracting covid-19. Nurses are often hindered from receiving services. However, despite it all, she endured even when she had the choice to stop working or to transfer to other units. I asked her, what made you stay and what gave you the motivation to keep doing what you do. Her only response was “If not us then who will take care of those who are sick and those who are trying to fight for their lives?”. It made me realize that it takes passion, dedication and compassion to be a nurse. It takes a lot of courage and hard work because not everyone can handle the responsibility that the nursing profession has.