This is Jasmine and Kaitlynn. They are both nurses working in the emergency department.
I’m having to really focus on working as a team because things aren’t as easy as they used to be. You can’t just go into rooms and not have all your materials. You have to rely on your colleagues more to bring things in for you.
We had a guy arrest the other day. He didn’t make it. The wife came in and she witnessed the arrest. She collapsed on me, and I was obviously comforting her, but I didn’t have PPE on because I was the team lead and outside the room.
I felt like people were judging me because I did not have all my PPE on.
But what am I supposed to do? Sorry, you’re having the worst day of your life – let me step away from you. It made me feel awful because I thought there’s no way I could not do this. That’s the hardest part.
We’re deemed by society as these heroes, but really are we? Do we feel that way all the time? I don’t.
It really makes you question, what would you put yourself at risk for if somebody dropped right in front of you. Would you immediately do CPR, like you normally would? Or would you ask should I be doing this? Is my safety at risk here?
I speak only for myself, but there’s a lot of internal ethical dialogue going on.
I think, I’m bringing this home to my family, should I put myself at risk? Am I putting this person’s life ahead of my life? COVID takes up a lot of my brain power now. Sometimes my nightmares are caught up with these ethical debates.
I don’t think it’s a thought process like that for myself. Sometimes it’s just instinct. Just like with that lady, I just reacted. It’s not like I thought, “Oh, I’m putting myself at risk.” I just did it.