I can’t deny that I’m nervous about the situation especially since I’m a nurse. I recently opened up to my life coach about it. She then asked me to think about my personal rules regarding covid-19.
What am I willing to do during this crisis and what am I not willing to do during this crisis?
I thought about this question and a phrase kept coming to me.
A dead nurse takes care of no patients. A quarantined nurse can take care of no patients.
One of my personal rules for this pandemic is to not put myself in danger. If I don’t have a mask then I cannot take care of a corona virus patient. I took an oath to help my patients. Sometimes to help my patients it would mean saying no to putting myself at risk to catch the virus. Going into a room with a positive patient without a mask would mean that I could become a way to spread the virus to not only my other patients but to the my co-workers as well. I took an oath to do no harm. Spreading the virus around would not be doing no harm.
There is a divide in nursing that I’m seeing right now. Some nurses are saying to stop complaining about having no PPE and take care of the patients. This is what nurses signed up for. Other nurses are saying that we didn’t sign up for this and it is okay to say no to taking care of a patient without proper PPE.
I’m not going to judge any nurse for making a decision that is best for that nurse.
I know that during a pandemic we are going to be doing things differently than normal. I will just make my own personal rules for my life.
Other people may not like them but I’m not going to put my life in danger to prove to anybody that I’m a good nurse.
I urge every one that reads this to think about your own personal rules for this pandemic. I don’t want the human race to lose its humanity during this pandemic. It is still okay to help other people also while keeping yourself safe.
The year of 2020 has been designated as the “Year of the Nurse”. While I really didn’t know what that meant at first but I now know what it means to me. Maybe this will be the year that nurses start to see themselves as human beings instead of martyrs. As a nurse it is okay to take care of yourself. It is okay to put yourself first. A healthy nurse can take better care of the patients than a sick or dead nurse. It is okay for a nurse to practice self care. It is okay for a nurse to say no and to stop working overtime. It is okay for a nurse to say no to taking care of a patient without proper PPE. It is okay for a nurse to make a decision that is best for that nurse even if no one else likes it and even if someone else says that that nurse isn’t a good nurse. It is okay for a nurse to put themselves in danger if that nurse so chooses to do so.
Every one has a different definition of a good nurse. I have been told in the past that nurses aren’t supposed to smile and they are supposed to be matter of fact. Some of my patients have told me that they like the fact that I smile because the hospital is already so dreary and sad.
I’m not going to put my life on the line to prove to anybody that I’m a “good” nurse.
I do think that every nurse needs to ask themselves some questions right now.
What are they willing to do and not willing to do during this pandemic?
The answer to the question might just save some lives.