Nurse Pens Powerful Perspective About COVID-19 Challenges

maui health nurses at a press conference
Photo credit: @WeAreMauiHealth

Taking showers in the backyard in a makeshift contraption. Staying away from loved ones by sleeping on a sofa at home or in a tent outside or in a hotel room. Not hugging and kissing children or a spouse. These are the sacrifices that nurses and other front-line workers make every day to care for COVID-19 patients.

Laurie Chock, R.N., a nurse manager in the COVID-19 unit at Maui Memorial Medical Center in Wailuku, Hawaii, wrote a heartfelt and powerful letter to the editor of The Maui News. She describes what it’s like to be on the front lines of the pandemic — admitting that she and her fellow nurses at first were “a little afraid” but also “knew this was our calling.”

Though dealing with risky situations has always been part of a nurse’s day-to-day work, COVID-19 brought daily routines and sacrifices that are “different, life-altering and far-reaching,” Chock writes.

She is grateful to be spending time caring for and being with patients during “one of the scariest times of their lives.” And the tough days have brought the nursing team closer than ever.

“We knew caring for patients would be frightening, but the effects have been harder than we ever expected,” Chock writes. “But from the moment we took that oath, and for many far before that, when it comes to compassionate care there is no hesitation and we continue to show up.”

Read Laurie Chock’s viewpoint piece, which represents all of the nurses working on the unit.