Long before COVID-19 became a global pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse.”
“It’s the ‘Year of the Nurse’ because Florence Nightingale said in 150 years nursing would be where she envisions it, and this is that year,” shares Alexandria Paul, Bon Secours – DePaul Medical Center intensive care unit nurse manager (above left).
Florence would no doubt be proud of the work being done by nurses today under the current circumstances.
“I think we are doing exactly what she wanted us to be doing,” Alexandria adds.
With this week also being National Nurses’ Week, it is the perfect time to thank our nurses for their numerous contributions to health care, as well as the way they enhance the lives of their patients. In these uncertain times, they are working and serving on the front lines without hesitation.
“The unknown was scary, but we make sure we are protected so we can protect ourselves and protect others,” says Ashlee Stevens, Bon Secours – Mary Immaculate Hospital emergency services director (above right). “We are making sure we do everything we can to not go home and spread it to our family.”
Even wearing all the new personal protective equipment has been an adjustment for some.
“It’s hard,” Ashlee shares. “You don’t realize how much you take for granted, not having something on your face and trying to breathe or talk.”
“Your face is sweaty,” Alexandria adds. “You’re hot. It’s really disruptive.”
However, the biggest shock has been the virus itself. How contagious and fast-spreading it is makes it unlike anything we’ve seen before.
“We talk about it all the time,” Ashlee says. “You couldn’t have made this up if you wanted to. It is difficult right now to go from one room where somebody has passed away and go into another room and turn your face to take care of a patient who needs your smiling face.”
But even in these new and challenging circumstances, nurses are demonstrating their grit and determination.
“I think for ICU nurses and people who are used to emergent situations, when your back is up against [the wall the] way it is, [it’s] the moment that you are like, ‘OK, let’s do this,’” Alexandria adds.
While the number of cases are leveling off in some areas, it is still very uncertain what the future holds. However, whatever the next couple of months look like, nurses like Alexandria and Ashlee will be ready to serve.
Read stories that celebrate our amazing Bon Secours nurses.
Stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.