COVID Chronicles from Maria Hocking, ESP Nurse

COVID Chronicles from Maria Hocking, ESP Nurse

Given the stress and that many of us have been facing during this time of crisis, I thought that you all would appreciate some positive thoughts of edification.

As many of us know all too well, a lot of us have been asked to serve as support nurses, you/we have been under a great deal of stress and anxiety, and for good reason. We are being asked to step up and serve in ways that we never envisioned.

Does this sound like you?

If so, you may be serving on your third or fourth tour of duty. You may have come from the main PACU and your first tour of duty was Oncology, and after a couple of weeks, you were asked to serve on the Joint and Spine Unit (JSU). Others may have taken a different journey and are now adding value within the Acute Care of the Elder (ACE) unit.

Does any of this sound familiar?

My journey started in the main PACU and from there it was on to the Oncology unit, and then I was asked to serve within JSU.

Honestly, I have to share with you that I really love my new (temporary) home! Like many of you, I was a bit apprehensive when I first started this latest assignment. What would I be asked to do? Would they be accepting of me, given I’m from another part of the hospital? All these thoughts were crossing my mind when I reported for duty.

But the people on JSU made me feel welcome immediately! Eve Sage has a great team here. For those of you who do not know Eve, she is the Director of General Surgical and Joint and Spine units. Not only are the professionals here very welcoming and appreciative of me and my background and skills, but I’m also finding that I am learning A LOT. And at my age, that is saying a LOT!

As the ‘Old Guard’ looks around us, nurses like myself, Jackie Stapleton, Beth Schmidt, and Anna Cortes, we see so much potential and are so proud of this next generation of medical professionals. What is also great about my new/temporary home is that I still see some of my old but warm and familiar faces from PACU. People like Chris (one of the O.R. Techs) and Ebony (an Edwards Tech) who is making masks for our fellow co-workers.

So I hereby declare that we ‘Old Guard’ officially now has a new team name. Jackie, Beth, Anna, and I are now the unofficial ‘Golden Girls’ of JSU. I never thought that I would ever say this, but I’m PROUD to be a GOLDEN GIRL! When I see these new faces, I see their excitement, eagerness to learn, their energy and enthusiasm, and their desire to really want to make a difference. I also see their trepidation and fear, because they are new to all of this as are we all in many ways. In other words, in their eyes, I see what I used to see when I was their age. I see the excitement, the challenges, the opportunity to make a difference.

JSU is now a part of my extended family. These nurses have now been ‘adopted’ by me, Jackie, and Beth.

So my message to all of you is to keep doing what you are doing. Roll up your sleeves and do what you are asked to do because it is needed and necessary. And if you feel inclined, take a moment and give yourselves a pat on the back. Take a victory lap. Clap for YOUR fellow nurses- in the ICU, the Emergency Room and the rest of the hospital who are support nurses.

And by all means, try to remember the following simple mantra: Don’t look down, unless you drop something. People need you to be UP.

Our patients sure do. And so do all of us, working together. I consider it to be an honor and a privilege to be a support nurse and to be associated with you.



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