Dear Healthcare Workers,
I feel like a fraud. Yes, I’m a nurse. I fall into the category of workers the world is praising, the category deemed heroes. I walk into a hospital every day just like many of you. But while my colleagues around the world are suiting up and fighting this pandemic I feel as though I’m sitting back anxiously watching it all unfold. I see story after story about healthcare professionals thrown into scary and dangerous situations, without proper PPE, to care for those who are COVID-19+. While for me, it’s business as usual in the NICU caring for tiny premature and very sick babies – but I still feel overwhelmed going into work each day.
You see in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) we healthcare workers are the ones who risk exposing our patient population. Typically, as we see on the news, it’s the other way around. In the NICU we haven’t seen a surge in patients and we haven’t experienced the fear of not having enough beds or ventilators. My biggest job right now is to protect my vulnerable patient population from getting this scary virus.
While my job, my risk, my responsibilities haven’t changed I wonder how other healthcare workers are feeling. I wonder what it’s like to be working with insufficient resources in ICU’s, ER’s, and Med-Surg floors around the world. If this is you, are you scared walking into the hospital? Do you just put one foot in front of the other, focused on the needs of others? Are you mad? Who are you mad at? What do you wish would change? Do you feel as though your needs are being taken seriously?
I also wonder what it’s like when your shift is over and you’re on your way home. Does the anxiety you experience at work follow you home? Are you afraid of bringing this virus to your family? We take care of others. We do it without question and with love. But when your job relies completely on you being healthy are you concerned about becoming unhealthy?
Anxiety, guilt, fear, and paranoia aren’t all that I’m feeling at this time though. More importantly, I’m feeling empowered and encouraged by you. I’ve never been so proud to be a nurse thanks to all of you. I have never seen a profession ban together like we healthcare providers have. I get goosebumps when I see people across social media clapping together for us. I feel a swelling of pride in my chest, tears bursting from the corners of my eyes. I am inspired through this pandemic when I see you showing up to work with a smile on your face putting your own needs aside to take care of others. You successfully extubate COVID-19+ patients and send them home. You hold their hands as they take their very last breath. You cry with family members, console to the best of your ability, and hold up phones so that people can FaceTime with their loved ones. HEROES, ROCKSTARS, ANGELS, these words don’t even come close to describing you, the fighters of this virus.
Encourage Others with MyPostcard
I hope that you are able to carry these words with you in your heart during this time. Because now, more than ever, words are really all we have. As physical human interaction has come to a halt, an encouraging word can feel like a safe hug on an overwhelming day. The usual text, email, or phone call can do the trick. But what about a simple way to tell someone thank you that they might not expect? What about sending words they can hang on their mirror to meditate on before heading to work? Or words that can encourage them from the front of their refrigerator?
That’s where MyPostcard comes in. My postcard is an online app that provides encouraging postcards, greeting cards, audio-cards and more. While MyPostcard is doing their job to #flattenthecurve, their most recent campaign of encouraging others comes at a crucial time. If you want to join MyPostcard in encouraging others at this time, I encourage you to download the app and follow these simple steps:
- Set up a profile
- Click “Designs”
- Under “Categories” choose the type of card you’d like to send (besides encouragement cards, you can also send out birthday cards, invitations, thank-yous, and more)
- Choose a card and start personalizing!
- Use my code: KYLEEDQIM – into your account for a $3.00 credit. To do this click “Profile” and “Redeem Friend Code”. If you’re on a desktop go to “My Account” and then “Redeem Friend Code”.
MyPostcard ships worldwide so you can send a letter to a loved one anywhere on the globe. Postcards start at $2.29 and greeting cards at $3.99 but at a time that brings much uncertainty, an encouraging word can really be priceless. All you do is simply send a postcard from your phone or computer and MyPostcard takes it from there. They print the card and take it to the post office, and a few days later your loved one will receive a personal note in their mailbox. Maybe they’ll hang it up, or maybe they’ll tuck it away for a rainy day. Or maybe they’ll find that postcard in a keepsake box 20 years from now and reflect on what it was like to come together, comfort the vulnerable, and bring the world to the other side of a pandemic stronger and with more compassion.
So, healthcare workers, please know that I am encouraged by each and every single one of you every single day. I hope that you are able to take pride in what you’re doing. Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, and know that I am sitting in my apartment thinking of you, encouraging you, and cheering you on.
A NICU Nurse
Please note that this post is sponsored by MyPostcard. I personally use MyPostcard and as always, all ideas and opinions expressed are entirely my own.