Faces of COVID

Reena – Nurse Practitioner

This is Reena. She is a Nurse Practitioner

“I was an emergency nurse for 6 years before switching into the nurse practitioner role. I was trained in the beginning of March and then COVID hit. It was a new role, new position, and new situation – so the learning curve wasn’t like what it would normally be. In working with high risk, complex geriatric patients, we immediately went virtual.

We find that the telephone has been the basic mechanism of communication that most people can use. We’ve had a lot of challenges because there are underhoused people who don’t have devices, or people who will give us a number and it’s disconnected. Additionally, some of their health issues are pretty complex.

As a healthcare worker, you want to help. You want to provide what you can to improve their quality of life.

When you can’t reach patients, it’s sad and you keep trying, but in the end sometimes you can’t get through. You then have to reason with yourself. Hopefully, you’ve set up enough mechanisms on your first visit that they have a fallback.  This has been key with all the visits that we do. Overall, I think that COVID-19 has really amplified the need to support our community.

I think that this pandemic has also brought many things to light, such as provider wage gaps, providing support and community resources to caregivers, and equitable care.

There are areas of the city that have amazing resources, and then there are areas of the city that have zero resources.

I’m hopeful that people will pay attention to that, and I hope that this is a time where we’re putting more efforts into making a better change.

Art is a mechanism for me to express how I feel emotionally. I was doing a lot of illustrations and detail work, but something about this situation made me want to do abstract work. This kind of expression lets me zone everything out so I can really turn my brain off. I don’t need to overthink anything, I don’t need to manage anything, I don’t need to worry about anything. I just let the art flow through whatever is going on in my heart and it’s been a really nice way to manage everything going on.”

You can find Reena’s work on Instagram here.

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Anika Andal


Anika is a Registered Nurse that is passionate about bringing the intersection between healthcare and humanity to life. She is currently doing a Master’s of Nursing at the University of Toronto with aspirations to be a leader in nursing education. Her other interests include health systems leadership, interprofessional collaboration, and advocacy.

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