EP 99: Being a Nurse During the Pandemic

Being a Nurse During the Pandemic

In this episode, we would like to discuss what it is like to be a nurse during the pandemic. These are challenging times for most nurses. Here is our story during the pandemic. 

One of the most challenging aspects of caring for patients with COVID-19 is that we can’t just walk in and chit-chat the way we used to. About 90% of patients are intubated, barely holding on to life in the ICU. It takes the human experience out of nursing when you can’t interact with your patient.

It is a positive experience when your intubated patient can finally follow commands like nodding their head to questions or squeezing your hand. Our patients rely on us for human interaction, too. And even that is super-limited now.

Talking points in the episode 

  • How COVID-19 felt like a science experiment at first. We didn’t know how to treat it. The research studies were done on patients, and we were part of it. Having patients on ECMO, you need heparin for anticoagulation that causes low platelets.
  • We did so much oral care to prevent pneumonia that we caused bleeding out of their mouth. So we just had to place towels around their mouth to catch them from going down their neck. I can make peace with what I have seen. But for some nurses that are screaming PTSD, for fuck sake. 
  • It doesn’t feel like the government helped the frontline warriors one bit. We have been understaffed and undersupplied this whole pandemic. 
  • Talk about Facetiming with family. 
  • Talk about how busy it is. Managing ECMO, CRRT, and Ventilator, all while changing your patients a few times a shift and soiling dressing with COVID butt.
  • Nurses’ emotional well-being is challenged like never before by the coronavirus, so finding coping strategies is essential.
  • Anxiety about patients, the possibility of infecting family members, and the financial impact of the pandemic are still being felt by many nurses.
  • Eight in ten nurses in a Nursing Standard survey said their mental health had been affected by COVID-19.
  • Injuries at work from bad posture and limited space between medical devices. 
  • Imagine being a nurse during the pandemic and having two patients die on you in one hour. What is nursing dark humor? He’s the grim reaper. 
  • A Lot of nurses don’t feel support from management. 
  • “Just imagine making decisions every day on whether you’re going to fulfill your professional obligation to care for patients versus sacrificing your personal safety or even that of your family because you’re in a situation where you don’t have adequate resources.”  From NBC News. 
  • “We didn’t sign up to be sacrificial lambs. We didn’t sign up to fight a deadly disease without adequate resources,” she said. “We’re told we’re soldiers. Well, you don’t send soldiers to war without a gun and expect them to do their job, but you are doing that to us.” From NBC News.

What’s it like being a nurse during Covid-19? Here’s how it is 👇👇👇


00:00 – Intro
00:10 – Welcome
00:36 – Announcements!
02:28 – Topic Intro
02:58 – The Era of Covid-19
03:35 – Changes in the hospital
05:28 – Facetime and Ipads
08:30 – Perspective of ICU nursing
08:49 – Covid Butt
13:23 – Patients on ECMO
18:04 – Prevention is hard
19:05 – The Government and the people
22:22 – Short staffed
23:19 – It’s the Wild West of Nursing
24:02 – PTSD in Nurses
24:50 – A good work-life balance
28:44 – Management
20:15 – Gowning
32:10 – Lack of Resources
33:10 – Turning patients on your own
34:29 – Sweass
38:58 – Internalizing a situation
42:08 – Work to the breaking point
43:43 – When nurses unite
47:13 – A weird experience
49:36 – Wrapping up
50:12 – End of show

Share This