May 11-17, 2020 is National Nurses Week in Canada – an important week each year where we take the time to thank all of the amazing nurses for the selfless and integral work they do. At HSH we regularly witness firsthand the care and dedication nurses show towards our clients during their recovery. This year, the devotion and sacrifice of nurses has become even more apparent across the globe as we hear countless stories about nurses working to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In honour of Nurses Week this year, we wanted to share some of those nurses’ stories with you and ask that you join us in saying the most heartfelt of thanks to them for their tireless efforts.
Tara Weekes’ Story
Length of nursing career: 12 -13 years
Current role: Emergency Room Nurse, Joseph Brant Hospital in Hamilton, ON
In the ER, we treat every person who comes through the doors as if they have COVID-19, as they are a possible carrier. We have no choice but to treat them that way – for their safety, ours, and our loved ones at home that we return to after our shifts. We are working in a new reality now.
My biggest concern during COVID-19 is that I could be bringing this virus home to my family. That is always on my mind. When the pandemic began, I discussed with my husband whether I should stay away from our family, but we decided it would be harder on them if I did. So I take all the precautions I can. I have hand sanitizer in my car and use it constantly. I change my clothes after every shift, before I leave the hospital. Once I arrive home, I take off all my clothes when I get into my garage and place them in a special bag that goes directly into the washer when I get inside. I then shower immediately. Only after doing all of this can I then go and hug my family.
If I could give people one piece of advice to help stop the spread, it is to wash your hands – all the time. People put on gloves and think they are safe but gloves are not the solution. While wearing gloves most people are still touching their face, their phone, their car keys and cars, and their door knobs all while still wearing the same gloves. Some people even forget to take them off. This just continues the spread.
I hope that everyone will stay safe and help us stop the spread of this virus.