It will never be the same
I am a Director if Nursing in a skilled nursing facility. I take pride in my team and take every opportunity to work right by their side. This usually allows me to see first hand what our process issues may be. Where the room for improvement is going to come from.
Yesterday, like every other day, I walked down the hall in our Covid unit (sweating in 15 pieces of PPE and exhausted because in 4 days I have already been away from home 62 hours). I am doing my morning rounds and going from one to the next. I am trying to encourage my nursing staff, reminding them that we are strong and we are a team and we will do the best we can. I am mopping, I am cleaning and stocking, preparing for the next transfer because we can’t afford to use the extra PPE for another department to take care of it. I am calling families to provide updates, sometimes ones that encourage them to call and say goodbye. I am working with the county response teams and the 8 different counties that all want me to follow their specific protocol and call 3 different people once x,y,z happens with their one citizen who lived in their county 9 years ago. I am counting and recounting PPE, calling every paint store in a 50 mile radius looking for enough shoe covers to make it through the next 2 days. I am taking phone calls from family members that are screaming and yelling and cussing and telling me how awful I am because their loved one didn’t get to bring his recliner to his new room, amongst the 13 room changes we had to make in the matter of hours to isolate and contain. Checking in with lab every two hours to find out if we have testing results back.
Last night at 1030pm, while my 3 small children and husband are waiting for me at home, I hid in my office crying. Broken hearted, defeated, exhausted. And I cry because we did everything. We went above and beyond the guidelines, the recommendations. We had back up plans for back up plans. We educated and educated and educated.....none of it mattered. People are dying. Nurses are praying and crying and working tirelessly. It is quite possibly the most helpless situation I have ever experienced.
I have been in healthcare for 14years and come from multigenerational nursing. Nursing is in my blood. Nursing is where I thrive.
Covid may just be the thing that drains my nursing passion.
Nurses are furloughed? But nursing homes are running at 40,50,60% nursing vacancy.
Elective surgeries are starting back up? But Home Depot warehouse is almost out of our shoe cover supply, so I suppose we will just start tying bags to our legs. We’ remain at a crisis contingency, but now that the hospitals don’t have concern for a “surge” life can resume for everyone but those of us dedicated to geriatrics.