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national nurses day; spotlighting our friends on the front lines

Today is national nurses day. As you can imagine, we thought it was really important to highlight this day to show our appreciation for our friends working day in and day out to keep our communities healthy and safe during COVID-19.

To celebrate, we wanted to give the floor to two of our friends working in the medical field currently.

have you always wanted to be a nurse?

Ashley K.: "I was torn between going to school for Veterinary medicine or Nursing. I was hired at the local hospital as a Sterile Processing Tech. The experience inspired me to go to nursing school."

Savannah W.: "No actually, as a teenager, I was always interested in the medical field and thought I maybe wanted to be a doctor. But, the schedule of a nurse and the different career paths you could take allured me (3 12 hr shifts per week with 4 days off!). Lots of room for growth also!"

how did you end up down this path?

Ashley K.: "I experienced a lot of departments in acute care including Surgery (operating room and PACU), Med/Surg/Tele, Pediatrics, OB and Emergency Department. None of these felt like my calling. I was hired at the VA as a Psychiatric and Addictions nurse. It finally felt right! I got certified in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and still continue my education as much as possible."

Savannah W.: "One of my best friends growing up and I kind of decided together to leave our university to get pre reqs for nursing school at a community college (cheaper route haha) and then we transferred together to University of Texas Medical Branch and got our Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Then, I tried to find a job, any job. As most fresh out of college graduates can relate, you quickly find out that managers want you to have experience. So, I had difficulty finding a job, and all of the graduate nurse programs had filled their occupancies. At this point, I didn’t care what department I ended up in. I eventually accepted a position in an ER in my hometown hoping I would like ER. Fast forward 7 years, and I grew to love ER nursing, and have done nothing else!"

how has your day-to-day changed during this pandemic?

Ashley K.: "I was moved out of role as a Psychiatric Nurse to assist in acute care. I’m grateful to be here helping and revamping my acute care skills. My shifts changed from M-F 8 hour to 12-hour shifts. It has been a huge adjustment for myself and my family."

Savannah W.: "Well, I am kind of used to having a lot of days off with my schedule, and I am not able to work from home like a lot of people. But, there are parts of my normal day to day things that I miss! Like orange theory fitness, laying out at my apartment pool, seeing movies, trying new restaurants, and so much more.

what are some things you are doing to feel a sense of normalcy right now?

Ashley K.: "We make sure to sit down and eat meals as a family when I am home."

Savannah W.: "Walking outside! I live in Houston, and it gets warm and sunny starting in March usually. So everyday I am not at work, I walk outside for about 45 minutes. I love the sun. Vitamin D is so important! Also, staying connected with my friends and family via zoom and old school phone calls!"

what's one thing you want everyone to know, as a nurse, working on the front lines?

Ashley K.: "Please check in on your family/friends. Some of us are not okay. If it’s possible speak to them on the phone or arrange a video chat. It’s not the same as human touch but it’s helpful for those struggling."

Savannah W.: "Although this is a scary time for everyone, we are still here to serve our community. We are all working very hard, and so grateful for the public’s generosity toward us.”

We cannot thank all medical professionals enough (Ashley + Savannah, included) for all that they do day in and day out, especially during this pandemic.
We are about to send out another round of donations to local NYC hospitals today. We appreciate all essential workers out there and are continuing to find ways to help spread joy each day 🧡If you are a healthcare worker, or someone you know is, make sure to visit for a special treat :)

By Becca King, community manager

photo via @glamorousglory_mua

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