In today’s So Inspiring segment we are joined by Kristna White, a nurse case manager who is currently working in the frontlines of the pandemic. Her predominant job is to facilitate a safe discharge of patients from the hospital.
Kristna, along with other front liners, were afraid of Covid-19 because there was little information about it. The hospital that she was working for did not have enough PPE and masks. “As the hospital realised that this was worse than we thought it would be, then they started giving us masks every day.” She went through such difficulty on days where she’d come home and have no shoulder to cry on. But she had the support of other colleagues and they were able to lean on each other. There have been improvements with treatment plans and new policies which helped build their confidence back.
At the beginning of the pandemic Kristna had a Covid scare and it was frustrating for her because it took 9 days to get her test results back. For her it was the anticipation and fear that made the experience much worse. She was also exposed to a lot of loss (death) so it really made her appreciate life more and enjoy the present. “It made me realise that tomorrow is never promised” – She adds. She couldn’t be with her family but she was happy that her neighbours filled that gap for the time being.
The level of care and treatment of Covid-19 has slowly gotten better as people have learned more about it. Kristna believes that in the beginning it was very important to flatten the curve because it gave hospitals the chance to catch up on Covid education. She thinks that the media focuses too much on the number of deaths rather than the number of survivors. She sees firsthand that the treatment plans are working and patients are going out the door. “I feel that there is hope” – she notes.
Kristna’s concern is not so much about the hospitals’ capabilities but more so the emotional and developmental impact the pandemic has caused the community. The terrible effects of the pandemic had extended to businesses closing and job loss. As a young mother, she is worried that this is taking a toll on her children’s emotional development as they are forced to be away from her because of work.
Knowing what she knows now about the pandemic, she would still become a nurse in a heartbeat. “I feel that being a nurse and being part of this pandemic is life changing.” – she happily responds. She believes that being a nurse is what she is supposed to do, it’s her calling.
People consider Kristna along with other front liners and essential workers as heroes. So we asked her who she would consider to be her heroes and she humbly responds “everyone who is complying, helping and being respectful to others, being to kind to one another – they’re our heroes.” She doesn’t personally feel like she is a hero as she is only helping those who are vulnerable. She believes that “everyone can make a contribution to fighting this problem (pandemic) and we can all be heroes.”
Her message to everyone – “I feel that we can open the community and reduce the risk of infection is we respectfully wear a mask and practice proper hand hygiene.” She does not think it is reasonable to expect the entire population to continue to stay at home as this has negative effects on wellbeing and mental health.