Knock Knock

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Knock Knock

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During the summer of 2020 I was taken from my current unit (where I work as a nurse) back to the ICU to care for the overflowing patients. The ICU is a very noisy place, but one noise that was new was the knocking. To go into a COVID patient's room you have to put on booties, a full length gown, two pairs of gloves, an N95 mask and a surgical mask along with eye protection. It is a lengthy process so once you are in the room you don't leave until all tasks are complete. So if you need something when you’re in there you would knock on the glass doors of the patient's room and one of the helper nurses would come and read what you had written on the door in a marker and get the items for you.
It was so quite in the rooms, no families were allowed so it was you, the machines and the patient. It was so hot you could feel the sweat dripping down your back and pooling in the arms of your gown. It was a very isolating feeling, usually there are lots of hands and people in your rooms with you to help or just to chat but not during COVID. The knock-knock could be heard all down the hall. It reminds me of the isolation we all experienced during this time and also how resilient we are and how helpful nurses are to each other. Nursing is a team sport. It is a sound and an experience I will never forget.

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This item was submitted on May 29, 2022 by Jennifer Mangus using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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