University Hospital of Northern B.C., in Prince George. (UBC photo)

University Hospital of Northern B.C., in Prince George. (UBC photo)

‘I am tired, and my soul hurts’: B.C. nurse reflects on working in ICU unit during COVID

Renée Bush writes about what it is like on the front-line of the pandemic in the north

As an ICU nurse I have dealing with COVID patients in the Prince George hospital. I am wanting people to recognize that COVID is real in the north.

The Health Care Team is working long difficult hours and extra shifts. This is not only physically exhausting, but emotionally and mentally draining.

I am nursing critically ill patients to the best of my ability, but it hurts my heart every day to be nursing people separated from their loved ones.

I field daily phone calls from families wanting updates about their special person that they love so much. They feel alienated and stressed that they can’t be with them. They tell me that they appreciate that we are at the bedside caring for their dad or sister or whomever it might be. They tell me little things about their loved one to let me get to know them, even if it is just a small portion of who that person is.

READ MORE: B.C. records 640 new COVID-19 cases, 24 deaths Wednesday

I hear the cracks in their voices as they talk to me, trying not to cry. They always end the conversation with please tell them I love them. Even though most of my patients are unconscious I tell them I will, and I do. It makes me cry too. I want people to remember when they see the stats that these are real people, with lives and families, they are not just numbers.

I truly connect with my patients. I go home thinking about them and their families. I have constant thoughts in my head wondering if all my patients will still be there tomorrow when I get back to work. It’s hard to just turn your brain off. Every death hurts us, we really are working so very hard.

READ MORE: ‘Feels like a dream came true’: Health-care workers receive COVID vaccine in B.C.

I hear the ventilator and monitor alarms even when I am at home. My face hurts from my respirator that I wear so much, the other parts of my day I wear the same mask as all of you.

I am tired, and my soul hurts.

I went into nursing because I care about people. As true northerners we all care and love our neighbours. I am asking for your help to think of others and not just yourself.

I know it sucks to not have Christmas with loves ones. I don’t get to see my family either. Small sacrifices for the big picture are what is needed right now.

Social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing or sanitizing your hands goes a long way. It’s all we have right now to try to flatten the curve that has grown substantially. Be kind to others, remember this is a sacrifice everyone is making right now.

My work life has changed dramatically, but so has my home life just like yours. As the north we are one big community. We can work together to take a huge load off the healthcare system and keep ourselves safe and healthy.

Please adhere to the provincial guidelines of social distancing and not having social gatherings at this time.

– Renée Bush, Prince George



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read