The American Nurses Association deemed 2020 “The Year of the Nurse,” and as the global pandemic continues, nurses and other medical responders continue to be at the forefront of this crisis. 

As a nurse working on the COVID floor at a local Coachella Valley hospital, my colleagues and I experience firsthand the drastic effects COVID can have on individuals and their loved ones. As nurses, we know the importance of following safe protocol. We no longer simply go to work in our scrubs; we suit up in full PPE to ensure the safety of not only our patients, but of ourselves, our neighbors and our loved ones.

When our first COVID patient came into the hospital in March, it seemed surreal. Since then, there has been a global adjustment in how we go about our day-to-day lives. As nurses, we now have to watch our patients struggle to fight the virus without the company of their family. We worry about each of them and keep them in our thoughts – even as we leave the hospital to go home to our own families. It is always hard to lose a patient, but as my colleagues and I have had to stand by as the only company in a patient’s room when they pass, safety, protocol and isolation take on a new meaning for us.

I will never forget our first patient that passed alone in a room with just her nurse as she took her last breaths from COVID-19. The tears and overwhelming heartbreak seen on the nurses’ and doctors’ faces will be etched in my mind forever.

We know how to keep ourselves safe from the transmission of COVID; we wear our masks, wash our hands and maintain social distance. We want to keep you, our patients and our loved ones safe.

 So, please join us in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe, watching out for your neighbors and protecting our community by wearing a mask. We are all in this together, and this simple act speaks volumes in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Contributor Robin Cavaliere, MSN, RN has worked locally as a medical/surgical nurse for 13 years. 

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