Destruction, I think that is where many of us are at right now as travel nurses. Sure we chose to pack up our lives into suitcases, travel the United States amidst a terrifying pandemic; leaving behind our family, friends, and the comfort of all that most of us have ever known. That being said, take a minute…just stop…look around you tell me could you or would you be able to do the same thing? Would you be willing to pack your bags and jump with two feet into war zone. Many of you may say yes until you learn what I mean when I use the word destruction –
My heart has be destroyed in more ways I could have ever imagined
My empathy and compassion for others has been worn thin — due to pure destruction from Covid and the sheer amount of hours that was
required given from all of us to each of our patients and their families.
My emotions are a teeter-totter
most days ok daily now that July is here (all new residents)! None the less, working nights you want to just come in and do your job; give your patients your all but you can’t because Covid destroyed the desire that was once there.
Friendships; this is a difficult one to swallow…I have figured out real quick who my true friends are and who my true supporters are through all of this. I think that many people think that because New York is no longer a “Covid hot spot” support and encouragement is not needed – WRONG. Not only is Covid still here, we now (traveling nurses) are here in the hundreds working around the clock taking care of level 1 and level 2 trauma victims in the many different ICU settings. I have started building a good network of traveling nurses as well as local friends which is really nice. It is wonderful to be able to jump in the car on the weekend and head to a beach and relax for the day; previously I would spend the days in my room so with time that is changing. I still miss hearing from many of you back home!
Here in New York things are different; especially working for the city hospital system. Working for privately owned hospitals is all I have ever known; we had what we needed when we needed it and now here in the city it is the exact opposite. There are nights we run out of bedding for our patients. Best Practices —HAHAHAHA the nurses here don’t even seem to know what that phrase means. All of you who know me and know me well, know that I take my profession very serious. I live by standards.
Standards are set for a reason; nurses live within the realm of standards because we should always be showing up every single day to do no harm and always put the needs of the patients first. Here I consistently get a laugh and, “welcome to Harlem, we don’t do things in the city that way, people are cheap around here.” At the end of it all, I do the best to work within the means that I have (not easy let me tell you).
I think Covid has honestly destroyed little bits and pieces of each of us. Our kids are more observant or may have developed anxiety, students have been forced outside of their comfort zone to learn online both school age and college age. Parents, well parents have not only had to be full-time working parents they now have also become full-time educators. To that I say, I FEEL YOUR PAIN. Being an educator is not easy, it is emotionally challenging, it is taxing, it is everything you never thought it would be and more. Ultimately I think I broke many parents and at the same time created so many new bonds between parents and their children as well as fostered growth between parents of the same age group to learn from each other.
Please remember to acknowledge your own shortcomings since covid; I guarantee you we all have something that Covid has stolen from us. Will that/those pieces of us come back, I am never sure. What I can tell you is this; wake up each day and write down three positive things for yourself and then throughout the day challenge yourself to give three random strangers compliments — it is amazing how quickly you feel amazing!
This is not the end, it is only a bump and we will see that rainbow amidst all of this craziness!