Recollections from an Oncology Nurse

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Recollections from an Oncology Nurse

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My mom is an oncology nurse and has worked in the field of nursing for the past 30 years. I recently asked her to talk to me about her experience this past year as a healthcare worker. She recalled the first week in March when things were becoming intense. People were asked to wear face shields and gowns as they were working in an immune-compromised area where the patients had cancer. At the time there was no vaccine. “It was incredibly intense and scary” my mother said.

“People were worried about getting Covid from other staff at the hospital and also worried about contracting Covid from the patients.”

“I walked into the hospital and there was an incredible underlying anxiety, the feeling of unease was palpable. People did not talk to each other like they normally did - everyone was consumed with the thought of not using each other’s pens, putting gloves on when receiving things from the pharmacy. Things we would never have even thought of before.” 

She continued, “It was a feeling of both being unsettled and a blind trust you put in your coworkers to be as clean, as responsible and in isolation outside of work as you. The intensity of that feeling was there the moment you walked in. The environment had changed. People were not as happy, communicative, relaxed.” 

She explained how working in Covid - there was an incredible newness to it - a fear and apprehension.

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