For registered nurses like Mystique Gonzalez, the weight of the world is on her and the rest of the staff at Madison Farms OB-GYN department in Bethlehem.
It is no surprise that COVID-19 has been a hassle, but for Gonzalez as an OB nurse, the pandemic has added a new level of stress for everyone in the department. She has been a part of the OB department for two and a half years and has been a registered nurse since 2016.
When patients come in testing positive for COVID-19, it adds to Gonzalez’s workload.
“Fear of the unknown and also fear of the known, puts everyone on edge,” Gonzalez said. “We put on our gowns, mask up, shields on and pray for the best.”
Gonzalez and her staff must wear goggles and a mask at all times, not use the lunch or break room and have to maintain six feet apart as per CDC guidelines. The staff must take these measures seriously for the safety of everyone, including themselves.
“We still have to see our patients and still have to provide them with exceptional care to make sure both them and their baby are healthy and safe,” Gonzalez said.
Early in the pandemic, nurses were constantly furloughed every other week. Many nurses lost their jobs and some had to relocate to another department.
“Thankfully now, we are still working our full shifts with the option of overtime, we would spend calling patients with COVID-19 results,” Gonzalez said.
“Another challenge for nurses is enforcing the rule to make sure only one visitor is allowed to be with moms during delivery and visits,” Gonzalez said.
“The anxiety of having a baby is already high enough,” Gonzalez said, “but when you tell a pregnant woman, who may already be feeling alone in her pregnancy, that she cannot have her family with her, that she must deliver with a mask on and that she has to keep it on the entire stay in the hospital, [which] is such a difficult conversation that I have to have every single day.”
Although it has been difficult for Gonzalez she feels that she has managed to provide the best care for her patients and follow procedures.
“My advice to other nurses would be to take each day as it comes. It is impossible to prepare for the unknown. All we can do is keep moving forward with the information we have and provide the best care possible for our patients.”
|If you or anyone you know has been struggling with pandemic-related stress, this website offers a free PDF file that contains lots of information about how to manage anxiety during these difficult times.|