“I’m scared. I don’t want to be here. I want to be in lockdown at home like my friends and neighbors, and self-quarantine to protect my family… and stay safe.
But then I come into work, reluctantly at first, and see those who aren’t able to fully comprehend what’s going on because of their age or dementia. I see those who can’t feed themselves or go to the bathroom on their own. I see someone struggling to breathe. He reminds me of my dad. And so I gear up for battle. I put on my PPE and my natural instincts kick in to rush to answer a call bell… because I have a calling.
I dedicated my career to helping those who are the least of us. I am reminded of the special relationship I’ve built over the years with my residents who rely on me to take care of them each and every day. And I push forward. I put myself (and my family) at risk to reach deep down and find courage that I didn’t think I had, to help those unable to help themselves – those who have been deemed the “most at-risk” of this awful virus.
I push through the emotions of my own reality. I press pause on my grief over my friend, co-worker, and relative who are in the hospital or recovering from COVID-19, or those whom I’ve already lost. I push through the physical exhaustion from the extra shifts I’ve picked up because my co-workers are home monitoring or treating their own symptoms.
I never went into health care to jump ship when the waters got choppy or rough. I wasn’t raised to look away or leave someone when he or she needed me most. I never questioned the presence of God when things got scary and unpredictable. But this is different. I am scared… every day… at work and at home. But God reminds me: I am trained. I am gifted with the heart and skills to help those in need. I will persevere. I will put on the PPE to protect myself, my family, and everyone that I care for so that I can help those at CHCC.
To everyone in the community: Thank you for your words of encouragement and the many gifts, large and small, showing your appreciation for what my team members and I do.
Thank you for recognizing the efforts of all of us on the front line of care. It reminds me of why I NEED to be here, why I WANT to be here. Through you, I am able to re-commit myself to this important mission. Thank you for enabling me to make a difference.”
An employee at Christian Health Care Center