The face of nursing has changed since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic nursing could be a tough job. Since COVID-19, the job of nursing has a new face, especially when working on a designated COVID unit.
A week before COVID became a pandemic, Brandy Snyder accepted the position of 4th Floor Medical Surgical Manager. Then, her new floor became the COVID unit. Now Snyder manages the 4th Floor Medical Surgical/COVID unit where positive and suspected positive COVID patients are accommodated.
Before the pandemic, Brandy worked 12-hour shifts, and now I’m here every day. Although her hours are 7:30 to 5:00 Monday through Friday, she is not out the door at 5:00, she must stay until all reports and protocol checks are completed.
According to Brandy, “I constantly need to uplift staff and stay positive because my staff counts on me to be there for them. I spend more time with my staff and patients than I do with my family. There’s a lot of new education that I must learn and teach daily. I also advocate for both my staff and patients and their families. Due to the new protocols and visitation policy, we get a lot more upset family members calling in because they can’t be with their loved ones right now. It’s hard.”
Snyder also mentions that the staff has highs and lows. They are scared. They have small children and elderly parents. They try to stay positive and they are thankful for their jobs, but they are physically and emotionally exhausted.
Since the unit is the COVID unit, the staff is working with full PPE. That includes gowns, shoe covers, N95 masks, goggles, hair covers, gloves. It’s exceedingly difficult to go from patient to patient. But, Snyder states, most of the patient are positive and hopeful. There have been a lot of patients recover.
Not only have the things at work changed, but home life has changed as well for Brandy, “I get scared, but I feel like no one really has a choice anymore. You either come to work or you don’t get to pay your bills. You must be careful and follow your protocols. When I get home, I remove all my clothes in the garage, spray my shoes with Lysol and leave them in the laundry room. Then I get in the shower. I have two children, my youngest is 8 years old and my oldest is 14 years old. It is difficult.”
While being a nurse is anything but normal these days, Brandy has a word of advice for the community, “Just be careful, take precautions and try to stay positive.”