“I was working on a COVID+ unit and had a patient who required a lot of oxygen at all times. He couldn’t get out of bed, was coughing all day, couldn’t sleep, and was always out of breath. When he heard it might take a couple of weeks to get better, he decided he would rather pass away than continue living like this for any longer. The family was very distraught to hear this, but he had made up his mind.
The doctor and I were with him for hours when he took off the oxygen. His family was on the phone saying their goodbyes as I watched his oxygen saturation go lower and lower. I cried, the doctor cried, and the patient cried too. It was horrible that I had to be in a mask, gloves, and face shield. It was horrible that his family wasn’t there. It was horrible that he was suffering so much that he wanted to terminate his life. I was there to support him but I just wish that I could have taken off my PPE and held his hands and been there for him without that barrier.
It has been hard, sad, and scary to be in the frontlines facing this virus. But I am thankful that I can go home at the end of the day. The support of my family, coworkers, friends, and patients are what’s getting me through it all.
I go to work with a brave face on. Even if I have a patient that passed away or went to the ICU, I keep putting my brave face to all my patients. Then, I cry it all out at home after work.”