It’s not just a job … it’s a calling. It takes a special person who feels the need to care for other people in their most vulnerable, scary times of need. Each nurse has a desire to care to serve and be there for people who need them the most.
When I became a nurse, I had no idea what we would face in 2020. But I’ve always known nursing is a profession that takes great skill, listening and love. It might sound odd to say, “love.” But that’s what it takes to truly care for another person and to do it well.
Nursing is also a profession that can be physically and emotionally draining because we put everything we have into caring for not just our patients and their families, but also to care for our team. During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen our nurses suit up in personal protective gear and show up to help any way they can. We have also seen the added stresses of a global pandemic on caregivers.
As a nurse, it’s also our job to communicate with families and support them on what can be a difficult journey to wellness. COVID-19 has made this even more important as we work to connect families virtually through iPads. We value the importance of family, especially as patients are fighting to get better.
Nurses are often at the bedside of patients when their families couldn’t be there. I, personally, will never forget how our team of caregivers stepped up to provide the kind of “love” that I mentioned to an adult woman and her elderly father, who were both being treated in our hospital. During his final moments, the team was able to connect the pair virtually, despite just a wall separating them inside our hospital. Our team of caregivers felt privileged to provide this bit of light in a time of sadness.
It is the courage to nage through such difficult life moments with such grace that continues to amaze me. These nurses live God’s love and are called to care for others. We have seen such a tremendous outpouring of support from the Tehachapi community, and we remain grateful for your gifts, support and prayers.
And although we don’t yet know what the future holds, I am quite sure of this: The entire staff at Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley will continue to support one another and the community in these uncertain times.
I’m proud to say: I’m a nurse because … it’s my calling.
Misty Cantrell is patient care executive for Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley.