New nurse in the middle of a pandemic

Submitted by McGill University
October 24, 2020

This year as the pandemic hit many changes occurred to my last semester in CEGEP. I did not have the opportunity to complete my 3 years of study the way I expected. Instead, I started my working experience a bit earlier. As my study for the OIIQ exam continued, I began my CEPI placement in the Hull Hospital. It was an incredibly different experience from what I was used to especially due to COVID. I had to quickly get used to the new norms and protocols, new unit, as well as getting used to the new profession. It was my first time having more than 4 patients, and even though it was an intense experience, it was very educational as well. I am grateful to be able to have this experience to increase my knowledge, but at the same time, it was quite scary. I currently live with my family, and even though I was not directly in contact with COVID patients, there was always a risk of contracting it in the hospital setting. Therefore I was constantly worried and questioning myself, whether me helping everyone else meant to put my family at possible risk of contracting this disease. It was a tough decision that had to be made. I am happy to say that we were very lucky, that by being careful and following the protocols established, neither I nor my family got COVID. This experience came to me at a very special moment where I was coming out of school into the nursing profession. Therefore, it is an experience that really marked the beginning of my professional career and I will forever remember it. I am very proud to say I am a nurse and I was very glad to see that from all of the bad things coming from this virus, one thing was positive. Nurses were getting recognized for the incredible work they do.