Meet Kimberly Conahan, a charge nurse in the emergency department at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center. As a charge nurse, she is responsible for, a lot but most importantly, maintaining the stability of the department. She makes sure nurses and patients are placed appropriately within the department, maintains safety, advocates for patients and families and focuses on getting medics back out in the community as quickly as possible.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kym’s job has understandably become more challenging. Every day she and her colleagues are adapting to new changes, the increasing shortage of nurses on their unit and constantly wearing protective gear.
“I am mentally and emotionally fatigued. We all are,” Kym reveals. “There are times when the emergency department nursing staff feel as if we are alone in the cause. It’s very hard to describe why unless you live it, but the pandemic has brought those of us who have struggled through it closer than ever. It’s hard to sit with family members while they die so they don’t die alone. You know you have other things to do, yet you just can’t leave that mother, father, brother or sister alone in the room to pass without someone being there. The gratitude shown by the family when you tell them that you sat with them until the end, that is what makes you get up and move on.”
Kym continues, “I have always been grateful for those who serve in the military, and this pandemic has given me an even greater understanding of what they go through. I truly feel like I am working in a war zone at times. There are days when I get in my car and cry because I couldn’t be a nurse. All I could do was get through tasks throughout the day.”
Kym shares how she is always making sure her team members are protected, including the medics and police officers that come in.
“If I can protect one person from getting sick with COVID-19, it’s a win for the community,” she says.
Because of her hard work, Kym was recently awarded the Tidewater EMS Award for the nurse with outstanding contribution to EMS. The award recognizes dedication and service, as well as knowledge and performance skill, and corporative, positive interaction with other EMS personnel.
“The award I received from TEMS has truly humbled me,” she shares. “I am so proud to be part of the emergency department and first responders family. I truly love each and every one of them. To know that someone took the time to nominate me and for me to win has meant more to me than words can truly express.”
We’re so grateful to Kym and our other nurses who are dedicated to caring for others at Bon Secours, where nurses mean the world!
Read more stories about our amazing nurses.
Also, learn more about the emergency services we offer at Bon Secours.