This was originally written August 5th of 2020. A lot has changed since then.
I’m a good nurse, but a shit employee. Apparently I missed the mandatory staff meeting last week over zoom. So when I heard that our unit will be converted to a COVID + unit, my initial reaction was wanting to flip some shit over. This desire was short-lived as it was quickly replaced with me brainstorming “silver-lining” scenarios. And because this is a blog, I’ve compiled my thoughts in list form for your viewing pleasure.
- Downgraded ratio from 4:1 to 3:1
I guess this is a silver lining. Assuming that the patients we’ll be taking care of aren’t the intubated kind, taking care of “otherwise healthy” COVID patients on routine doses of IV abx and antivirals sounds relatively light in comparison to the already heavy population we treat.
There will be a time down the line where people will ask us healthcare workers what we did in “the fight against COVID/corona.” Many of those who aren’t healthcare workers touted us as being “heroes” and “frontliners,” when, to be completely honest, a lot of us were chillin–well, not really “chillin,” as we all still have our regular responsibilities to do as nurses. All I’m saying is that many of us were fortunate enough to not have our units converted to COVID treatment units, so we weren’t placed in significant danger to contracting COVID in comparison to the general public. That being said, our unit converting into a COVID treatment unit will prove to be a good opportunity to expand our nursing knowledge, and as an appeal to our collective ego, nurses on my unit, including myself, can truthfully and honestly say we’re “frontliners.” But fuck the “hero” title, forreal.
- Potential for OT/$$$
Nothing scares older, seasoned nurses more than the thought of having to work in close proximity with patients that carry a virus that can potentially kill them. I’d be scared too, especially if I had a family or kids. Being an avid follower of trends and my proclivity to predict things before they occur, I suspect that a lot of nurses will be calling in sick, thus leaving the hospital in need of staff. Enter: the young nurses who don’t know any better (i.e. myself, even though I’m not even young anymore). Nursing isn’t about the money, but you’d be lying if you said there isn’t a small fortune to be had if one was willing to look for it during these times. Just don’t let it take your breath away.
This part was written today on September 10th of 2020
So I attended my first UPC where I was greeted with the news that I’ll be groomed to be the next chairperson of this committee. The UPC or “Unit Practice Council” is a committee that oversees policy changes within my place of work while promoting a high morale throughout the unit through special events, fundraisers, and food drop offs. It has a whole lot of other functions within the unit, but I’m too drunk or too lazy to disclose them all right now, and I don’t want to bore you. Just know that with any new responsibility or challenge has ever thrown at me, I’m ready and willing to see it through and persevere. Here’s one big thing that struck me during the 6 hour meeting since this is the last meeting before we transition to becoming a full COVID floor.
My floor will be the first to be inundated with COVID patients in the entire duration of flu season. What does this mean? It means we’re pretty much going to be fucked, and not in the “hell yeah, this is awesome” kinda fucked. Like, shit is going to be torn up like an episiotomy during vaginal birth. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly enough, I’m more excited than anxious. I’m guessing it’s that residual lust for the rush of adrenaline I get during code 3 ambulance drop offs back when I used to be an ER nurse. I work well under pressure, and this much has been true in all facets of my life.
You think you can hurt me?
Hell, I’m a two-time covid SURVIVOR. Let’s just hope the old adage is true… What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.