The year of the nurse and midwife is also the year we are fighting a global pandemic. In this unprecedented time, the nursing profession and health care professionals from around the world are being recognized for their front-line work while combatting this deadly virus. Being a new nursing graduate myself and entering the workforce during a pandemic has been challenging. Our new “normal” consists of wearing personal protective equipment, social distancing and hiding behind a mask. This is challenging as we work in a confined space and our human instinct is to be close to our patients. Working with children during the COVID-19 outbreak has been life-changing and an experience I will never forget. Some patients are afraid of our equipment, making it difficult to carry out interventions and assessments, while others have become accustomed to this new reality. A new pilot project was put in place asking healthcare workers to wear a laminated selfie around their neck to help patients have a visual of the face behind their mask. This initiative was to help patients and family members feel comfortable despite these circumstances.
Although we haven’t had many COVID-19 patients in the pediatric world, my unit is still responsible for caring for patient overflow in other sectors and admitting those who test positive. We are hoping that this second wave passes and becomes a memory of the past. One thing I would like to say is that I admire now more than ever the resilience of nurses and their dedication even when faced with the unknown. Words cannot describe how proud I am to be a nurse and the respect I have for my fellow nurses. My advice is to continue learning from each other, to remember that things are temporary and to admire the work you provide to those around you.