I know what you're feeling right now, I understand you.
I have been pacing around my house for days. My family can attest to the fact that I have not been the most pleasant person to be around since we've been asked to quarantine ourselves in our houses. It isn't because we disrespect the people putting these laws in place, and it isn't because we want to put anyone at risk. I understand the quarantine, and I understand why we, as a society have to limit the spread of this disease. In fact, as someone who will one day be working in healthcare, I support this initiative to preserve our hospitals and healthcare workers.
However, the future nurses of our country are sitting around — anxiously.
We're restless because we can't do what we were built to do. We are not passive helpers — we are dedicating our lives to be active helpers. I don't want to be the one sitting on the sidelines during an emergency, I want to be the one giving every last bit of myself to others. It's who I am. It's my calling. No hate to the people who are able to relax on the couch watching Netflix and doing their part (we NEED people like you and you are doing great!), but that isn't who I am. To the people who are able to help passively, I applaud you.
But nurses can't do that. Nurses DON'T do that.
There's a reason they have been calling us nurses since our freshman year of nursing school. The faculty and staff have seen something in us that we might not even be able to see yet — a drive. And at times like this, times when the world is in crisis mode and you are just SO close to being someone on the front lines, it is torture to be stuck at home.
I would give anything to be one of the people in the hospitals, caring for people infected by COVID-19 right now.
Knowing that they won't have enough staff to do so breaks my heart and makes me want to fast forward two years ahead to graduation. I feel that drive to help others stronger than ever, and sitting on my couch trying to figure out how to use Zoom to sign into my classes is not exactly fulfilling or gratifying (and honestly, a really terrible way to learn anatomy if you ask me).
I want you to know that we are all feeling this way, and we will get through this. Say an extra prayer for the brave men and women who ARE working in the hospitals, and be grateful that in a few short years they will be able to use these experiences to teach you to be a better nurse. Soak in as much information as you can to inform your friends and family members on the best practices to stay safe. And most of all, take some time to yourself and watch some Netflix — before you know it you WILL be working those 12-hour shifts and probably wishing for a relaxing day on the couch!
I'm right there with you.