Getting Started As A Nurse During A Pandemic

Getting Started As A Nurse During A Pandemic

Millennial In Medicine, Benjamin - First Year Cardiothoracic Nurse

The transition from nursing school to residency is daunting. Suddenly, all the information you learned in school has to be applied in practice, sometimes with only a split second’s time for reflection. It’s also humbling to find out that so many things that you need to know as a practicing nurse were covered in school. That was enough of a challenge, but just three months into my residency, an unprecedented pandemic began!

Early Challenges For My Residency

Early on, I found applying the basic techniques that I learned in school to be more stressful than I’d imagined to apply in practice. I had a patient with vital signs in the 40’s, and blood pressure crashing - it was a life or death emergency. Digging deep, I was able to remember the medication and compression techniques that would apply to this situation and successfully used them. After several situations where I was able to rise to the occasion successfully, I began to gain confidence.

Covid 19 Turned Everything On Its Head

At first nobody was taking the novel Coronavirus very seriously, accustomed to seeing infectious diseases such as Ebola properly contained without much risk to the population in the United States. As the problems in Italy escalated, and the virus began community spread in the United States, preparations began in earnest. The cardiothoracic floor that I’ve been assigned to at Northside Hospital is now being transformed into a dedicated Covid 19 facility. So far there have only been two probable cases ruled out on our floor, but there is a tremendous amount of gearing up for the crisis. We are now being trained in pandemic response and the use of hazmat suits and other protection gear.

Now We’re On The Frontlines

Expectations have completely changed. There’s no time for a learning curve and no room for error. Thousands of lives are at stake and we have to rise to the occasion. It’s like we signed up for the reserves and now we’re in active combat. I am committed to doing whatever’s necessary to help save lives during this crisis and am excited for the opportunity


1 comment

  • Barbara

    He sounds like a dedicated and thoughtful guy doing the right thing at the right time.


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