Author: Dr. Jennifer Jordan currently works as a clinical research nurse in the Philadelphia region. She writes about her experiences serving on her hospital’s COVID nursing committee during the height of the pandemic. This committee was created to support patients diagnosed with COVID during their hospitalizations, as well as the bedside nurses who cared for them.
“…Today, on none other than nurses’ day, I spent time with critically ill COVID patients… because they are sick, and alone, and scared. I got suited up for what appeared like war, entered these ‘scary’ rooms, and listened to these patients as they mumbled what they could around their breathing tubes … they wanted to know when they would be able to walk again, they cried, they told me how they missed their families .. but they also cracked jokes, laughed, and thanked us for our care … When I was able to assist an elderly man in seeing his wife for the first time since she fell ill through FaceTime… he told us that she always loved it when he sang the well-known Christian song, Ave Maria, to her and asked if he could do so at that time … I agreed with delight, held her hand bc he couldn’t, and bowed my head as he sang to the love of his life. I don’t write this to sadden anyone or say ‘hey look at me’… I write it to acknowledge that yes, nurses are health heroes… but we always have been. That example of humanity just described… I’ve experienced plenty of those moments throughout nursing my career, and there are so many other nurses who have experienced far more of them than me. This is what we do, this is what we have always done… courage is an understatement. All the newfound appreciation and awareness for what we do has felt great and we should be grateful for it…but we know that it is overdue, and our impact can only be truly understood amongst each other. Good news is we never cared about that, bc it always was, and it always will be … long after we’re out of the pandemic spotlight … all about our patients. Thus, might I dare say to the public, keep your thanks, and give us our PPE…”