Michelene Jolibois Submitted 2020-05-21

This year of 2020 has been a complete rounded roller coaster for many of us around the world and mostly healthcare workers dealing with the pandemics of COVID-19. I work as a nursing assistant in a hospital and I love my duty as a caregiver. The most important part of my day at work is seeing the differences I am able to make in someone’s life. Although, working as a nursing assistant can be under looked at, it is just as stressful and plays a very important role in healthcare. As a nursing assistant It is a very rewarding feeling for me when helping a person in discomfort which could simply mean putting a second set of pillows under their head or feet to elevate it or simply applying a hot/cold pack in a swollen area or even doing the very first initial assessment before the nurse goes into the room while taking the blood pressure, assessing the patient’s weight, etc.. If I can recall a specific situation I would like to refer to a scenario at work back in March. One evening during my shift I was told by the unit coordinator that a COVID+ patient was assigned to one of my rooms, and I know my duty as a nursing assistant is to go into that room & do the basic physical assessment. Honestly I was a little frightening not because I did not love my job or wanted to refuse to give care to a sick patient but it was because I didn’t believe to have had enough knowledgeable skills to properly care for that patient. I had to imply intracommunication by placing myself in that individual’s shoes of how I would feel if I was in that bed and caregivers were running away from me or refusing to care for me because I am considered contagious. Yes I don’t want to have to carry the virus to my home that could potentially infect my families but in the other hand I thought to myself “ you signed up for this the minute you took in that position” and the person in that bed did not choose to have this disease; here I am fortunate enough to not be sick and standing in the other side of the bed to give the best care I possibly can knowing that I did my duties and hopefully walk out of the hospital clean and come back the next day to perform those duties all over again. I can honestly say it was a very challenging situation, and sometimes still is when hearing about the many of my fellow colleagues that have been infected, but I believe that I am managing this situation a little bit better since we’re a little more knowledgeable about the virus, therefore our approach is a bit different and calmer. Dealing with this pandemic did not push me away from my dream of becoming a nurse but instead reassured me that I need to hurry up and be “that nurse.” A nurse that won’t let a disease stand in the way of them and that patient, a nurse that will sacrifice their own to be in the front line to provide care to those In need, and a proud nurse that will find good in every given situation even in the most difficult times like now. During this time I’ve watched students, nurses and nurses aide who’ve walked out of the job because it was too stressful to bear. My advice to fellow nursing students would be to either go volunteer at a healthcare facility or work in healthcare now during this pandemic in order to be sure of whether nursing is the right profession for them. I believe this time around the pandemic will either make you or break you. It will make you want to exceed your potential to push higher, and to be more than you couldn’t even imagine, or it can break you down to know maybe nursing is not for you if you can’t handle environmental pressure and scare. Either way I believe working as a tech or any other caregiving role in healthcare should be a requirement before becoming a nurse because everyday will not be only about the basic PPE guidelines or the patient who constantly press in the call bell for a glass of water while your other patient is soaked in feces, and the coordinator calling you every two minutes to help a different patient when she just sent you to a room.