I have been in the middle of COVID-19 since the start of the first wave. I am glad I decided to work in LTC homes during the most difficult times and when help is most crucial. I understand that many are afraid to work as they fear getting sick. I do believe that if the right PPE is used the right way, the risk of getting the virus is low.
My experience has been incredibly uplifting and rewarding. Every day at work (many of which have been double-shifts) has made me more proud to be a nurse. Holding the hand of the ill, comforting, and in some cases, consoling the families, and uplifting the spirits of frustrated coworkers have given a different meaning to my nursing role. Every minute of my shift I hope that I have given my best and that my best is enough for the residents I care for to get through the physical, mental, and spiritual exhaustion caused by the virus.
Entering a resident’s room with a smile, singing a song, holding their hand, wetting their dry lips, offering a drink or two, and letting them know that I am there for them when their family members cannot be is as important as giving them meds and oxygen. I truly believe that holistic care is what is going to help them fight the virus and regain health.
During the first wave, I slept in the LTC home where I helped. I felt at home. I worked with people who put their differences and titles aside and became one team with the goal of taking care of the residents and each other.
I am working at a different facility this time around and I am hoping that my help will make a difference in the lives and health of the residents.
I have to thank The A Team for this opportunity. They made me feel supported and cared for, appreciated, and valued — all feelings that made me want to work long shifts without ever feeling tired.
~ Loreta Doga, RPN, RN-BN, Plan A Toronto