Covid-19 has definitely impacted everyone’s daily life; although some had their routine changed from A to Z, others adapted quite well to this social distancing. For me, Covid-19 has helped me relax in a way; back in March when the pandemic really hit, I used to work 20-30hrs at my municipality’s pool, all while finishing my DEC in Nursing. I was quite busy all the time. When Quebec imposed a lockdown, I could no longer work at the pool and online schooling allowed me to enjoy the comfort of my own home.
I didn’t join the workforce right away, even if it was at that moment hospitals needed as much staff as possible because I feared for my own family. My father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in July 2019, hence when the pandemic started, he was going through multiple cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. I did not want to risk his life by bringing the virus home. Hence, my family and I were very careful during the first few months of the lockdown, as my father was immunosuppressed. As the months went by, I finally graduated from Cegep and was ready to embark as a new nurse.
I joined Charles Lemoyne’s hospital in Greenfield Park and worked as a CEPI all summer. I was fortunate to work on a “green zone” unit. Even though I was not exposed to care for patients with Covid, I still saw the impact of the virus on them and on the nursing care. I noticed that a lot of the patients and even some nurses were really worried about the virus and their stress affected their mood, how they interacted with others. I tried to make sure that all of my patients had their fears alleviated and that they were getting the right information concerning Covid-19. I was surprised to find that people are quick to believe everything they see on social media! I also saw the impact of Covid on my own nursing care; some patients on the bridge of their last breath alone with no family at their bedside due to visiting policies, new mothers giving birth by themselves and facing the beginning of parenthood alone, abused children with no choice other than staying home…Covid really challenged me emotionally and mentally, making me learn about my own limitations quite fast. Joining the workforce during critical times like these confirmed that I was doing something I loved and that is caring for patients as a whole, not just their pathologies. I got to apply theory such as McGill Model of Nursing and Strength-Based nursing into my practice and learn how to be the best nurse I possibly can.
My advice to the world would be to wear their masks, if not for themselves at least do it for the others. It is a simple gesture that could save plenty of lives. Enjoying social events is also primordial, as the human was made for human contact, but do so within safe limits. Hand washing avoid sharing foods and most importantly respecting each other. There are so many things we don’t know about the virus yet, let’s keep safe and do more than not enough! As they say, “prévenir c’est guérir” !