COVID-19 from a Mental Health Nurse

Being a health care provider during this pandemic is absolutely nerve wracking. Every day I show up to work, not knowing what the day will bring. Of course it’s like that all the time, but knowing we are in the middle of a pandemic, puts a spin on things. There is the stress of having to swab patients with COVID like symptoms, placing them in isolation, and wondering if they already affected you, your unit, and then brought home to your family. It’s the fear of the unknown and possible calm before the storm that has many of us on edge. It’s an overwhelming sadness that you feel knowing the heartbreak and devastation this pandemic has caused and continues to do so. As a mental health nurse, I worry about the long term mental health impact this has on our society. I think about those with anxiety and depression and how isolation may exacerbate their illnesses. The financial stressors, such as unemployment and the downfall of our economy, will be a feeding ground for an upcoming mental health crisis.
I prefer to focus on staying positive and supportive for those who need and rely solely on you, even when I have my own fears. I am proud to be support and comfort for that patient who underwent a difficult procedure and is unable to have family at their bedside (due to COVID polices) or provide tools to help those with mental illness cope with the current stressors this pandemic has caused thus far. I am passionate about educating my patients on how to protect themselves, not only while in hospital, but when discharged back into the community. It’s about smiling with your eyes because your mask covers the rest of your face. Fighting this pandemic is a team effort and I am proud to be working alongside so many amazing people.