Men In Nursing 2020

Michael Zunde, Trauma Intensive Care, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center

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

Patients are spending their hospital stays alone, which amplifies the fear and loneliness they endure. Providing comfort and reassurance has always been part of nursing care, but making time to stay at the bedside while families FaceTime, listening to stories, telling jokes, and making personal connections have all become more essential than ever.

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

I found inspiration in the dedication and selflessness of my coworkers. Not once did I hear anyone mention taking leave until the crisis subsided. Our nurses showed up day in and day out, often working extra hours during surge conditions.

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

At the onset of the pandemic, my wife (who is also an RN) and I were fearful of being silent carriers of the disease. Our family and friends were incredibly thoughtful in bringing us groceries and meals so we could stay away from the public. They offered to help watch our toddler and lifted us up in thanks and prayer.

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

While I’ve sharpened the technical skills my role requires, two important skills I have refined in my eight years as an RN are a composed demeanor and confidence in my communication ability. When a patient is crashing, it is vital to set aside your emotions and approach the crisis with a calm and level head. I’ve also come a long way in my ability to have conversations with patients and families about difficult subjects, such as end-of-life issues or substance abuse.

Read the full Men in Nursing 2020 article here.

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