Small Actions

Submitted by McGill University
October 24, 2020

2020 has been a difficult year. The challenges that have come our way have been difficult. COVID-19 has changed the lives of everyone around the world and a lot of pressure has been placed on the shoulders of health care workers at the frontline of the pandemic. I have worked at the frontlines of COVID-19 during the peak of our first wave here in Quebec. I wish it was easy to explain how it felt and what I saw, but it is hard to express myself and even harder for people who haven’t lived it to understand it. I appreciate now more than ever the worldwide nursing community. Because we are all going and living through the similar situation. My goal was to always give the best care to my patients and I felt that with COVID-19 I couldn’t give them my 100%. I felt powerless: my elderly patients were so sick, I was watching them die slowly and all I could do was try to make them as comfortable as possible. As a new nurse, it was a lot to take in emotionally. With all this stress, I started paying attention to the small things that I could do for my patients that would affect them positively. The patients felt so alone without their families, so staying with them for a few minutes to provide them company or picking up, giving them and helping them read the letters their families sent them was gratifying for them as well as for me. Making sure that the dying patients would be comfortable until their last breath. At the end of the day, it all came to treating them as individuals and not only as patients as well as understanding that the small things that we do for them can create a big impact on their life. That is what helped me get through it.