Conversation With A Nurse
Established in 1974, International Nurses Day has been an annual event that highlights and celebrates the skill and sacrifice of nurses. When the world was plunged into the Coronavirus pandemic in March of 2020, it was nurses and other medical personnel who stepped up to ensure that we were all kept as safe and healthy as possible.
This sacrifice was made at the risk of their own health, happiness, and peace. This International Nurses Day, we wanted to get some perspective on what the pandemic was like for so many nurses. We got in contact with Olivia Wyffels, a labor and delivery nurse in Los Angeles, California. She sat down with us for an interview to describe what the pandemic was like for her and how we can help her and fellow nurses moving forward.
Olivia graduated from the University of Tampa in 2017 and has been with her current hospital in California for three and a half years. It was her grandmother that inspired her career path. Olivia passionately described how her grandmother’s life as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse inspired her to a life of medicine, however, the specific direction was not clear. That is until she began her clinical rotations and wound up in the Labor and Delivery unit.
“There’s always something new to learn,” Olivia expressed when asked her favorite thing about the workplace. Bringing a new life into the world isn’t just exciting for new parents, but the nurses as well as, “no two patients are the same.”
Stress was her number one dislike about her profession. “It’s not just mom and baby, sometimes there’s multiple people to care for,” Olivia stated, reminiscing over her time caring for multiple births. There’s no doubt that the nursing profession carries with it an inherent amount of stress.
Enter a global pandemic.
“We’re trained to properly put on and take off PPE, as well as masks,” Olivia noted, saying there was no training specific to the pandemic. Just as it surprised average citizens, it shocked the medical world as well. Olivia’s normally busy hospital was taken into overdrive.
On an average day, the Labor and Delivery unit would operate as normal. As long as everyone was negative for COVID-19, procedures continued with extra caution, higher sanitization, and stricter rules. However, if a mother did come in and tested positive, a nurse would be assigned to her until the baby was delivered. This was the best method for limiting interactions. All the positive mothers that Olivia encountered were asymptomatic, and thankfully made a full recovery.
“We were fearful in the beginning. Protocols were constantly changing,” Olivia recounted. “At some point we were dispatched to help overwhelmed units,” she said, “November and December had the most positive patients.” This wave put into perspective the impact the pandemic was having.
Then there was the light at the end of the tunnel. With the release of the COVID vaccine, Olivia said she could finally breathe a sigh of relief. “The best way to support us is to get vaccinated,” she insisted. Protecting yourself and others around you through vaccinations, mask wearing, and hand washing is essential to easing the burden of healthcare workers, both in the medical field, as well as those working in the cafeterias or cleaning the hospitals.
2020 carried a vast array of unprecedented challenges. However, we don’t have to repeat it. This year, Cosy House Collection is giving back to the medical community by donating 15% of every sale from now until May 16th to the American Nurses Association. Join us by using code NURSE15 and get 15% off your order. Start shopping HERE!
Special thanks to Olivia Wyffels for allowing us to conduct this interview.