Men In Nursing 2020

Tad Worku, Emergency Department, Loma Linda University Health

Looking back on this year, what have been the biggest changes in your practice?

When I started working in the ER, I never really imagined I would be there during a global pandemic! ER nursing has always required a high degree of flexibility, so I think the biggest change has been the frequency of the adjustments. Early on, it felt like things were constantly changing.

Tell us about the most inspirational thing you’ve experienced as a nurse during this pandemic.

Two coworkers and I started a clinician wellbeing group for ER nurses. During one of our first meetings, it was evident that the morale was low. One nurse shared her anxiety about going home to her elderly family members, which inspired other nurses to open up about similar experiences.

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The pandemic has really stripped back ER providers’ protective layers and forced us to be vulnerable with each other. I think it made us realize how much we need each other.

What nonmedical support from family, friends or the general public has been most appreciated?

I have a strong support system, although it’s tough not being able to see everyone. I have a cousin in residency at the same hospital, and we have been able to support each other. It’s nice having someone to talk to who understands what it’s like to be in the middle of everything.

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How have you grown as a nurse since you started working in this profession?

It’s sometimes surreal to recall the experiences I’ve had over the past five years. The ER definitely changes you, but I don’t think it has to be a negative thing. I’ve grown in my knowledge and ability to care for patients. I realize daily that I have so much more to learn, which keeps me motivated and on my toes.

Read the full Men in Nursing 2020 article here.

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