This year has undoubtedly brought on many challenges and abrupt transitions to everyone’s daily lives, making it even more difficult to focus on our health and wellbeing. As we all navigate these uncertainties in our own way, we believe it’s important to come together as a community and connect, even when we have to be apart.
Despite the chaos of this year, the frontline workers in healthcare have had to split their attention between caring for themselves and their families and caring for the people in their community. We admire the grit and determination they have shown during this time, that’s why we recently checked in with a nurse we know, Hailey Johnson, to learn more about how she’s facing adversity and prioritizing her health at the same time. What follows is a Q&A between us:
Q: How has your job been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: In the last few weeks, the number of COVID cases has significantly increased which has put my coworkers and me under a lot of pressure. Additionally, we all have to wear masks and protective gear for the duration of our 12-hour shifts which has been a difficult transition from what we were used to before.
Pro Tip: Remember that there are people in the healthcare industry who are fighting for the health of you and your loved ones. If you have a frontline healthcare professional in your life, take a moment to reach out to them and say thank you for all they do.
Q: How do you prioritize your mental health after caring for others all day?
A: What keeps me sane is coming home, watching Netflix, setting aside time for exercise, and getting enough sleep. I kind of go through phases but I love to read, play softball with my family, and spend time with my dog, Gryffin. All of these things bring me back to being happy.
Pro Tip: Block out time in your weekly schedule for “you” time. I know it may seem contradictory to pencil this in even if you don’t have set plans, but if we don’t prioritize time to recharge, spend time with family, and do something for ourselves, it’s easy to keep putting it on the backburner.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is starting in the healthcare industry?
A: You need to be prepared that there are going to be bad days that you will need to push through. Not everyday is like this, there are good shifts and rewarding times, but it can be really hard. Getting through nursing school alone really prepared me for a lot of the challenges ahead, so that is a great place to start.
Pro Tip: Bad days happen. There’s no way around that. However, it’s important to remind yourself that bad days are temporary and will pass. A good way to maintain a positive perspective is by reconnecting with your “why”. For step-by-step instructions on finding your “why”, check out our recent blog post: “Finding Your Why to Live With Purpose”
Q: Why did you decide to become a nurse? What’s your “why”?
A: My “why” to become a nurse was to help people like my brother, Dylan. While in the womb, he was diagnosed with severe hydrocephalus, an abnormality causing little brain development due to fluid in the brain. While he is 19 years old currently, once born he was given weeks to live. I love my brother and helping enhance his life was a reward for me. The motivation has always been one of care, not because of reasons some people go into it, which is stable work and good pay. My motivations have always been caring outwards for others as I did for my brother.
Q: What is your favorite “feel-good” song right now?
To all of the nurses out there, thank you from the YGT team. We are grateful for your service.