By Priya Moorhouse @priyamoorhouse
The anxiety I have before going to work now is at a different level.
Photo by Tonik via Unsplash
Every day I emotionally and mentally prepare myself. I’m working on doing better physically, but sometimes I’m too exhausted to make a meal at home or work out while doing 48 hours every week [at the hospital]. I’ve become quite methodical in my routine: wake up, say a prayer, call my husband and my folks, try and answer some texts and look at encouraging messages, get ready and changed for work, then I listen to some music and read a bible verse. My taste in music is fairly eclectic, but I’ve noticed I’ve gone back to my rock roots for this time. I have to amp myself up, especially mentally.
The other night I was floated to a different unit where literally 33 of the 43 patients were COVID-positive. I felt like I had entered the Hunger Games. What’s the saying, “may the odds be ever in your favor?” I felt like I almost couldn’t even take off my mask at the nurses’ station just a few feet away from the rooms with their doors open without thinking, is this going to be the day I get it?
Pretty much everyone who knows me knows how OCD-like my cleaning habits are. I’m very thorough with donning and doffing my PPE and hand hygiene, but there is only so much in your control, especially in shared spaces.
One of the most important things that alleviates my anxiety and literally gets me through my shift is my team. I walk in knowing that, on 5600, I am supported, and even though things get crazy, it is all hands on deck. We are all learning together. It is human to complain, but it is a humbled human who realizes this is such a crazy and unprecedented time. None of us asked for this. We are running low on supplies and PPE, especially with not having a cure and knowing that finding something like that will take time. Instead of complaining, I want to focus on the good and positives. Here in New York, we definitely aren’t running low on perseverance and resilience. I am blown away by their strength and will to continue this fight and not leave.
Earlier, I mentioned getting floated the other night; what I didn’t mention was how nervous I was. But, my spirit was so lifted when a friend from my home unit came down while on break to visit me and see how I was doing. Another friend who was in the telemetry monitoring room was messaging throughout the night, checking up on me as well. We are ALL tired. Tired of the what if’s, of having to wear masks out, of not being able to see loved ones in hospitals, of not being able to do things as we normally would outside with our children and family.
But just hang in there, because that’s what I am doing.
I have hope, and know that a better day is coming again.
My faith is restored daily by little things I see and people I meet here in New York.
Let us not forget our humanity towards others during this time.
NYU Langone Brooklyn... specifically 5600— I have been so welcomed and so supported, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Priya Moorhouse is an RN working in Brooklyn.
Edited for clarity by the FOTFL team.