Nurses Week 2022. Reflections Of A Critical Care Nurse On COVID 19 Pandemic

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Just months after we came out of the throes of COVID-19, the world seems to have moved on, with every precaution and care we conducted ourselves in previously, thrown out of the window. At least, that is what seems to be the case going by the observation on members of the public in Laikipia.

  

Last Friday was the last day of International Nurses Week, an annual period set aside to celebrate nurses. We speak to Eugenia Ntuara, one of our Critical Care Nurses at LHS Nanyuki about what her experience was like, and the lessons are drawn from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  

First, are we really out of the woods yet. Can we really celebrate?

  

Yes and no. Yes, because we have been through the worst experience I could have imagined. No, because the disease is still there, as much as it is at a low peak, thanks of course to the vaccination and natural immunity that has built up over time in the communities.

  

What lessons can we draw from our experiences?

  

Preparedness. Luckily for us, we had at least three critical cares among us then, and two others who had the experience of managing such an environment, having been privileged to experience Ebola epidemics in West Africa. Honestly speaking, this put us ahead of the pack in our response to the pandemic.

  

Did the pandemic show us how vulnerable humanity is?

  

Definitely! One moment we are doing fine, next thing you know, the world is whipped into some frenzy, scrambling to assemble mechanisms to save itself from complete destruction. We live by the grace of God!

  

There are still people who believe the whole pandemic thing is a hoax...

  

That is not a wise line of thinking! Some things you have to experience yourself to understand. You stand to dozens of patients gasping for oxygen and you understand what all this means.

  

What kept you going? Did you at one point felt like you will call it quits?

  

Prayer every day! Spiritual support, peer talk, you let it out and you get something to start out every day.

  

And there are emotional scars left no doubt? How do you deal with them?

  

No doubt there are. You know the public thinks we are naturally built to handle anything that comes our way, which is not the case.

  

Ooh the recovery. And I meet some of my patients in the streets who say thank you for the service. That is enough for me.

  

Which makes Continuous Medical Education a significant thing, right?

  

Absolutely. Medicine is such a dynamic field. You need to be constantly updated and luckily for us, our CMEs have given us an edge on the current practices across the diverse fields of medicine.

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