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Nurses are HEROES!

May 8, 2020

In honor of National Nurses Week, we asked some of our nurses from the front lines to share their thoughts about nursing in a time of COVID-19.

Phyllis Cerone, R.N., APN, CCRN, CENP, more than 40 years at NCH

Emergency Department, Critical Care, Respiratory Care and Stroke Program

“Our nurses are knowledgeable and equipped to provide safe patient care. We have excellent collaboration as a medical team to make sure our patients get expert clinical management and compassionate care for COVID-19.”

“My biggest concern during this pandemic has been to make sure that we have the processes and equipment in place to keep our staff safe. This is my number one priority.”

Jennifer Chudik, BSN, R.N., almost six years at NCH as a R.N., one year as a PCT

Normally works on 8 South (Orthopedics), presently works on 8 South (COVID Unit)

“I would like the community to know that even though this COVID-19 experience has been challenging and very emotional, it has also been extremely rewarding. During this time, there have been many patients who have really made an impact on me as a nurse. I want you all to know that as a nurse, I am here to care for your loved ones in their time of need. I am also here to help provide them comfort and hold their hand. Lastly, I understand how difficult it must be for family members since they are unable to come visit their loved ones while they are in the hospital.”

“Being an orthopedic nurse, I generally take care of ‘healthy’ patients that are in for an elective surgery. Becoming a COVID-19 nurse has definitely required a shift from the kind of nursing I am used to. I have had a few patients that I really bonded with in the short time I was caring for them. I have always had a love for nursing, but this experience has really opened my heart even further for helping those in need while they are sick.”

Bridget B. DeWitt, BSN, R.N., TCRN, ECRN, TNS, at NCH for four years

Emergency Department

“We are here to take care of our community. We will be there for you when family cannot. We appreciate all the support everyone has given us.”

“Nursing in the current environment has made me appreciate the time I had with my family before the virus. I am currently living in our basement isolated from my three children, one of which has asthma.”

Kristen Jakacki, BSN, R.N., at NCH nearly 10 years

Float Pool Department – supporting multiple units daily

“Being a nurse during these unprecedented times has its challenges but also so many rewards. Teamwork is essential to our successes and I am personally so grateful to work in a healthcare system that has always supported nursing. We are here for each other but most importantly, we are here for the community and their families. Please continue to support us by staying home, social distancing and flattening the curve.”

“The pandemic hasn’t changed my practice as a nurse, but it has validated the importance of connecting with my patients. We understand that families are unable to be with their loved ones due to necessary rules and we are honored to be there for them during this difficult time.”

Connie Selsky, R.N., M.S., BC-NE, more than 40 years at NCH

Inpatient services: Medical/Surgical/Cardiac/Observation

“Our nursing staff never lost a beat when we learned that we were getting our first COVID-19 patients on our medical unit. This is why we became nurses and what we are here for. To provide care for every patient that enters our hospital.”

“I have always been so proud to be in nursing and just hope to leave my role feeling that I have made a positive difference in the lives of our patients. I am touched by the outpouring of support and thoughtfulness by our community through this time. Thankful for the signs along the roadway, the food delivered to our staff and the chalk rainbow that my young neighbor drew on my driveway for my arrival home one night.”

Cecilia Tancun, MSN, R.N., CCRP, at NCH for 30 years (pictured with Mimi Malesky, (right) Clinical Nurse Manager, CSU)

Role during COVID-19: PPE super-user and screener; surge/support R.N. Normally works in Cardiopulmonary Health and Rehab in NCH Wellness Center

“My role as a nurse during this pandemic has changed from outpatient to inpatient, but my focus remains on providing safe patient care. It has been scary at times for both patients and staff. The patients don’t have their families near. Our staff has also had to lean on and provide emotional support for one another. I would like to thank the community for their outreach. All of our staff have been uplifted by the homemade masks, signs, donations and food. This hospital has always prided itself on being community driven. The outpouring of concern really demonstrates that point. I hope that every resident will also continue to do their part to help ‘flatten the curve’ by maintaining social distancing.”

“I think the greatest change for me, personally, has been to be able to experience bedside nursing once again. I have been welcomed back and mentored by all the amazing 3EN nurses. I now teach nursing and will take what I have learned from this ‘nursing boot camp’ back with me to my students when I return to clinicals.”

Abigail Williams R.N., two years at NCH

ICU

“We genuinely appreciate all of the signs, sweets and food donated to ICU. Please know on these long, exhausting days it means the world to us.”

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