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Let’s hear it for the unsung heroes,

The nurses that have gotten us through the pandemic ensuring they are all working their hardest to keep everyone safe and help those affected. They have sacrificed their home lives, lost time with their families, and risked their health and safety to care for those who truly need it.  

This Nurses’ Week, we want to celebrate those who have worked tirelessly over the past year, and say THANK YOU! We sat down with nine nurses in British Columbia to get their insight on the pandemic, the challenges they’ve faced and the ways they’ve cared for themselves after a stressful day. 

To introduce the wonderful nurses who sat down with us a little bit better, we welcome Angela, Registered Nurse AND ‘Mom’ to our very own Public Relations Specialist, Jessica! 

(RN): We are an acute medical unit consisting of RNs, LPNs and members of the multidisciplinary team which include (PT, OT, Social workers, Registered Dieticians, Speech Language Pathologists, Care Aides, Unit Clerks, Home Health, Rehab assistants, etc) that work collectively to care for patients in an acute medical unit in the Fraser Health Region. 

Over the past year, more than ever, we’ve not only taken care of patients with acute and chronic illness, but we’ve also had to take care of their families coping with the unknown and new restricted visitation protocols. 

Thank you for all that you do! What has the pandemic taught you? 

Lorraine (Acute Care Aid): It has taught me to take nothing for granted. That any kind word or gesture goes a long way when patients are feeling alone and scared. That we all make a difference in what we do. 

Lisa (Clinical Nurse Educator): Patience - and the need for kindness and generosity of spirit. 

Elena (RN): That life is precious and there may not always be a tomorrow. Spend time with your families when you can because there may be times when you are forced not to. 

What’s been the most challenging aspect of your job over the past year? 

Ashley (LPN): The fact that day by day fewer people believe covid is real, all while you are holding the hands of patients who are dying of covid. 

Leah (RN): The exhaustion -  mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’ve seen things and dealt with things that I never imagined I would be faced with in my career. The challenges list is never-ending as I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel yet and the burnout is real and is happening. Nurses are not okay... 

Angela (RN): Trying to provide the best care to our patients and families and balance it with spending time with our own families and making the effort to take care of ourselves. Telling family that they can't come to visit their loved ones due to strict covid visitation protocols and implementing new technologies (zoom) to facilitate virtual visits and include family during patient rounds. 

How do you relax and decompress after working such a stressful job? 

Leah (RN): Being with my family, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, and having a sense of humor to get through it all. 

Leona (PCC): Chatting with friends to vent and decompress and going for a walk. 

Stacey (LPN): I enjoy a nice long walk with my puppy, sitting around by my outdoor fire enjoying a glass of wine. 

How has your job changed from pre-pandemic life? 

Leah (RN): It has changed drastically. Wearing personal protective equipment for 12 hours in a Covid Unit in which you are isolated to all shift. Missing breaks due to workload and social distancing measures. Having more patients in our ICU than we have ever had. Adapting to new protocols and measures that were/are changing daily. Seeing your colleagues exhausted and burnt out. It has changed on all levels...never thought I’d have to work and live through something like this. Having patients families not able to come and visit has been a super tough and challenging part as well. 

Lorraine (Acute Care Aide): That you always need to be aware of your surroundings. Protecting yourself and others 

You inspire us! Who inspires you?

Stacey (LPN): My family and friends and the solid connections that I have with each one of them. 

Angela (RN): My husband and daughters inspire me to be the best person, the best wife, mom and nurse that I can be. 

Elena (RN): All nurses!! 

Where and when you can, make sure to show your local nurses a bit of love! They have been through a lot, and they are still showing up every single day to try to make a difference and keep people healthy, alive, and safe. 

We are here to do the same! Did you know we offer a Healthcare Heroes discount? If you’re a Healthcare Hero, make sure to check it out here and get verified! We’re here to hopefully help bring you a little bit of comfort in these unprecedented times. 

By Smash+Tess

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