My best friend Tiffannie has always been the most thoughtful one in our group. She has a heart of gold and there is no doubt in my mind that she has picked the perfect career. Tiffannie is a globetrotter, she decided to become a travel nurse a few years ago and she's been all over the nation saving lives.

When I found out that Tiffannie had agreed to a contract in New Jersey amid a pandemic, I wasn't surprised. Heroes like Tiffannie volunteer to be on the frontline, maybe that's why I admire her so much. I read her first check-in and I think we all need to read it.

After her first few days working in the trenches of the hospital, this is what she had to say:

"My heart is so heavy after my first few shifts working in a designated COVID-19 unit. It is rough out here and these patients are very sick. One second they are talking to you about their families and the next they aren’t breathing. Rapids and codes are constantly called overhead. Patients are terrified and so are we, as we do the best we can with limited resources. Death is very palpable. there is so much suffering as patients are taking their last breath without their families by their side. I’m not sharing this post for sympathy as I knew very well what I signed up for, but to beg you to stay home because although you may not feel the effects of this crisis, we are.

 

Imagine this - you are taking care of a patient from Poland who does not speak English very well, his daughter calls throughout the shift to check on her father, her voice quivering as she tries to hold back her tears. You tell the daughter you will take good care of her father but you remember you have not checked on him in a while because, on top of having other very sick patients, you have to be intentional when you go in and out of his room to conserve protective equipment. You don your gear and go to his room to get his vitals but as you walk in, you see his lips are blue and his skin is pale. He has taken his oxygen off again because the non-rebreather mask is tight on his face and is making his ears and nose bleed- on the monitor you see SpO2 76%. You grab the mask and hold it to his face but he tries to fight you. you plead with him, screaming over the negative air machine in the room that he needs oxygen or he will die. You pray that his SpO2 comes back up because you have just told his sweet daughter that you will help “tata” FaceTime her because all the grandkids want to see his face.

 

I’d like to end on a positive note by saying that I am so humbled by this experience so far, nurses have traveled from all over the US to answer the call and help our own in this time of crisis. I am so proud to work by their side. The appreciation and support here is unreal." - Tiffannie R. N. 


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my heart is so heavy after my first few shifts working in a designated covid-19 unit. it is rough out here and these patients are very sick. one second they are talking to you about their families and the next they aren’t breathing. rapids and codes are constantly called overhead. patients are terrified and so are we, as we do the best we can with limited resources. death is very palpable. there is so much suffering as patients are taking their last breath without their families by their side. I’m not sharing this post for sympathy as I knew very well what I signed up for, but to beg you to stay home because although you may not feel the effects of this crisis, we are. imagine this - you are taking care of a patient from poland who does not speak english very well -his daughter calls throughout the shift to check on her father, her voice quivering as she tries to hold back her tears - you tell the daughter you will take good care of her father but you remember you have not checked on him in a while because on top of having other very sick patients, you have to be intentional of when you go in and out of his room to conserve protective equipment - you don your gear and go to his room to get his vitals but as you walk in, you see his lips are blue and his skin is pale. he has taken his oxygen off again because the non-rebreather mask is tight on his face and is making his ears and nose bleed- on the monitor you see SpO2 76%. you grab the mask and hold it to his face but he tries to fight you. you plead with him, screaming over the negative air machine in the room that he needs oxygen or he will die. you pray that his SpO2 comes back up because you have just told his sweet daughter that you will help “tata” FaceTime her because all the grandkids want to see his face. I’d like to end on a positive note by saying that I am so humbled by this experience so far - nurses have traveled from all over the US to answer the call and help our own in this time of crisis. I am so proud to work by their side. the appreciation and support here is unreal.

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