Page 15 - HealthcareNews May/June 2021
P. 15

  Vital. Strong. Healing. Caring. Inspiring. Dedicated. Courageous. Compassionate.
   Mercy Medical Center congratulates the region’s graduating nurses!
2020 was designated “The Year of the Nurse” by the World Health Organization. “The Year of the Nurse” is now extended to 2021 to honor the remarkable contri- butions nurses have made during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses on the frontlines and across all disciplines continue to serve and inspire us all.
Please join us in congratulating the graduating nurses from American International College, Elms College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College, University of Massachusetts
at Amherst, and Westfield State University!
Coping with the Unprecedented
Nurses Have Responded to the Pandemic with Resilience, Creativity
sshereflectedonthepast15 months and how COVID-19 has impacted all those in health-
care and especially nurses, Colleen Desai recalled something one of her instructors told her in nursing school.
“It was something to the effect of, ‘the key to being a successful nurse is the ability to be creative and overcome challenge,’” said Desai, chief Nursing officer and vice president of Patient Care Services at Holy- oke Medical Center (HMC), who doubted whether the professor in question was thinking about a global pandemic when passing on that advice.
But COVID certainly put that thinking to the test, she went on, noting that, during the pandemic, nurses have been overcom- ing a seemingly endless stream of chal- lenges, and while they’ve used a number
of qualities to clear such hurdles, creativity has been perhaps the strongest weapon. “We had to shift and pivot quickly and
dowhatwedoonthefly—anditwasa whirlwind,” she explained. “We changed how we do things on a day-to-day basis, and creativity was a key.”
Desai, like others we spoke to for this piece, said that nursing has always been a profession to test one’s mental and physi- cal strength and resolve, with long hours, often difficult work, and ample amounts
of stress. But COVID has taken things to
a level never seen before by even the most veteran of nurses. They were pushed to
the limit in every way imaginable, and in
a setting that was dangerous, flooded with unknowns and uncertainty, and that left all those involved with daily concerns about their own health and well-being — and that of their families.
“We didn’t know the nature of this virus,” said Lindsey Gamble, director of Nursing at Mercy Medical Center. “We are all learning with the rest of the world. And I don’t know that you can ever be physically,
Colleen Desai, right, seen here with Melissa Perry, director of Behavioral Health Nursing at Holyoke Medical Center, says COVID forced nurses to pivot quickly and “do what we do on the fly.”

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