During the early part of my career, as a bedside nurse at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery in Blacksburg, there were many times my nursing colleagues and mentors would see things in me that I could not see for myself. In the midst of challenging times, it is easy to lose sight of the difference we make as nurses. As we move forward and learn to live with the newest phases of COVID-19, nurses still are bearing emotional wounds from the past two years.
To all nurses still working long shifts in enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) — who endured extended isolation from family and friends, and who worried for so long about carrying a scary virus home to their loved ones — you are seen, you are heard and you are making a difference. The health care landscape has shifted, but it hasn’t changed your ability to lead, motivate, heal and care for patients.