Nurses on the Frontline

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Nurses during COVID are more at risk than anyone else in communities around the world. My mom is one of those nurses. Saving someone’s life or improving their health is my mom’s job. Day to night, my mom cares for people with all kinds of illnesses including COVID-19.

Ever since my earliest memories, my mom has always had a passion for nursing. She loves nursing and states, “I always learn something new in a way that most people don’t get to experience.” She not only helps her patients and meets stringent medical standards in a fast-paced environment, but she also supports her patients’ families. “It’s a really hard job, but it is rewarding,” states Jessica Smits, Registered Nurse (RN).

Attending patients at their bedside is Smit’s job, all day long, no matter what the illness. When I asked her, “how do you handle patients who will not cooperate?” She answered, “There are two aspects to that. There are some patients who choose not to take the advice we give them [and] take care of themselves. All I can do is provide the information [they need] and hope they change their minds. But a lot of times they come back to the hospital with the same problems. [Then] all I can do is provide them good care while they are at the hospital.”

“I think what has been the most challenging thing about being a nurse during the pandemic is that the medical community and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) didn’t know anything about this new virus. The information we were getting at the hospital about how to protect ourselves changes daily. [What] made it even more difficult [is] an extreme shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). So we couldn’t even protect ourselves even if we wanted to; it made [our jobs] very difficult,” Smits says. During this pandemic, rules have constantly changed for nurses. They have to deal with patients with all sorts of diseases, but COVID is the most difficult to deal with because the CDC doesn’t have a lot information on this new virus yet. 

Nurses deal with patients who won’t cooperate and most of the time, nurses feel very pressured. This can really affect how the nurses think. “I have really great co-workers and usually we can find humor in difficult situations.” During the pandemic, supporting and lifting each other up has been more challenging. “Knowing that I helped even just one person during my shift makes me feel better,” says Smits. She works on the frontline every day taking care of our community and helping people who need medical attention.