I shed tears last evening, which given the current world situation, isn’t all that surprising. What dropped me over the edge was
the pictures of exhausted health care providers with mask lines from so many hours of practicing isolation protocol. No food, no drinks, no pee breaks and often fighting a losing battle. The Italian nurse was mentally broken. It was a glimpse into what could be the reality for my friends and colleagues still on the front line. Which gave me, once again, pause for much thought.
My professional association has put out a call for retired nurses to become reinstated. Now I’m not retired but I am laid off from my private operating room. I’ve thought about this at length over the last few days.
My skill set is so specialized and the Operating Rooms are on slow down with all electives being cancelled. They are running like a basic holiday schedule to keep urgent care provided. They are all waiting for the “shoe to drop” so to speak.
If I volunteered to step back into the health region I would be going into an uncharted territory. One that probably won’t have a lot of time for training and without training one can make errors. Even if they put me on a ward to do that kind of nursing I’d be lost. Basically I haven’t given a medication to a patient in 39 years. I would flounder.
I would also expose myself and my other half to the virus at our “age”. We are in the demographic that is at risk and while we don’t have any underlying health issues that would play a role in the illness who knows. 4 to 6% of the population will need an ICU bed with a ventilator. Here in Saskatchewan we have 71 ventilators and a population of 1 M. Math isn’t my strong suit but I can tell you that it’s not a pretty picture.
So I will be a “hero” and save lives by staying home. It comes with a fairly hefty level of guilt that I am trying to dissolve. Ask my family — even if I wasn’t on call it was very rare that I said no to going in when work called with an emergency that required more hands. But I’ve done my time and handed the torch to a younger generation. I am thankful that they are just as skilled, compassionate and energetic as I once was. I will step aside and wash the guilt down the drain as I wash my hands. I am thankful that we have a dedicated committed group of health care providers here in Canada and that some of them are my friends and colleagues. The other side of “this” may look a long way away right now but thank you for what you do.
Stand apart but stay connected.
PS no disregard meant to all those other front line workers like essential retail, delivery services and the likes. It’s just that the above was my focus for so many years.
PPS gratitude post tomorrow with maybe some lighter sides of life. Focus on the positives so to speak.
PPPS what the heck — a day time blog? Usually I post at 11:30 on not am. That’s a significant shift for me!