In honor of Nurse's month, we interviewed one of our clinical nurses, Shienelle, to hear about her story and experience working as a nurse during COVID 19 and transitioning from field work to office work.
Let's start from the beginning, why did you choose to become a nurse?
Growing up, I always wanted to be a nurse. It was my childhood dream. Helping people was always a big priority for me. When I became a HHA, I knew that I wanted to further my education and get my Nursing degree. I currently have an Associates degree and a Registered Nurse license and am also currently in school for my Bachelors degree. I want to continue growing as a nurse.
How long have you been a nurse for?
I became a Registered Nurse in February of 2020.
What was it like for you to work as a nurse during COVID-19?
It was challenging, I was pregnant and everything was unknown. I was afraid for my baby, my family and my mother who lived with us. What was reassuring was working for a family that followed COVID guidelines and took all the necessary precautions. As their child suffered from a Chronic Respiratory disease, they were vigilant and cautious. I felt safe working with them, as I knew they were taking the right precautions to ensure that we didn't get COVID. It was nonetheless a very scary and unknown time. We had no idea what could change or happen next.
How long did you work for during the pandemic?
I began to work for the family I mentioned previously from March 2020 until the morning of my labor (May 2020). My patient's mother was kind enough to drive me home the morning of my labor. She was very supportive and for that I am very grateful.
When did you start working as a nurse again?
Three months after giving birth, I began working in the field again as a Nurse. I worked in the field for four more months and after getting COVID, I transitioned to clinical work. I already knew that I wanted to work as a clinical Nurse post pregnancy, but after getting COVID, I decided it was time to switch to them clinical team.
What was your biggest takeaway from this experience?
I learned to always be prepared for the unexpected. To be open minded as a nurse in all aspects and to be ready mentally for all things that can happen.
Any advice for people who would like to become a nurse?
A couple of things, 1) Don't take for granted what you learn in nursing school, 2) Experience in the field is the most important, so try to get as much experience as you can, that is the best way you will learn; and 3)the last piece of advice, as a nurse, documentation and proper medication administration are two of the very most important things to focus on.
Become a nurse because you have the passion for it.