We garb up and glove up and mask up. But we do not give up. Thoughts on Ebola. From a nurse. #SupportTheScrubs

I’m a nurse.

So I get it.

More than most folks in this country right now, I dare say my co-workers and fellow nurses around the country, we get it.

We.

Get.

Fear.

It’s not new to us, the nagging, lingering anxiety that in our efforts to heal, we will succumb to the very diseases we treat. Working at the bedside is a bit like the old Hotel California … we clock in any time we like, but we never really leave.

So last night I had to shut ‘er down. My TV, my facebook feeds, my Twitter news lists…anything that reminded me of the chaos, the politicalization, the breaches of protocol, the talking heads … most of whom will get nowhere near a single strain of Ebola ever … and the way the media spins sick nurses and hospital administrators overwhelmed with the unthinkable … things which in fact, each of us in this profession think of, whether consciously or subconsciously,

every.

single.

day.

I had to shut down the fear, because fear won’t heal.

Fear won’t stop the spread of a disease.

Fear won’t help me get through my next 12 hour shift.

Fear won’t win.

Unless we let it.

So today, I choose hope.

I choose to believe in what I know from over 20 years of bedside, administrator, supervisory, and even executive level nursing work. And what I know is this:

First, we do no harm.

Like our partners–physicians, aides, therapists, housekeepers–we keep on working. We lean in toward the pain, we don’t run from it. We hold up the frail ones throwing their guts up and wipe down the ones oozing stool and hold on to the ones gasping, alone, as they take their last breaths.

We garb up and glove up and mask up.

But we do not give up.

Not ever.

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45 thoughts on “We garb up and glove up and mask up. But we do not give up. Thoughts on Ebola. From a nurse. #SupportTheScrubs

  1. This was so awesome, thanks for posting. I am so sick of hearing about it on social media and the news, they are giving everyone unnecessary fear for something that is highly unlikely of effecting them. Fear will not help anything at all 🙂

  2. The medical workers who care for those with this deadly contagion are truly brave – when the highest form of bravery is not foolish bravado but overcoming fear to do what is right

  3. Reblogged this on Trelarium and commented:
    Presently I work as a Personal Support Worker, but this article by Amy K. Sorrells hit a vein.

    Kudos to Health Care Teams everywhere who work hard to ensure we are healthy and understand the afflictions the world throws at us.

    Kudos to remembering that you are also people and need to take a step back from the fear mongering and take care of your own health.

    Each year there is always going to be the next big thing that we need to be scared of, and while Ebola scares even me I try to remember that there will always be a way to get through it. Our Health Care Teams around the world are working hard to ensure that we are knowledgeable to even the most basic techniques to keep these things at bay. Like proper hand washing techniques.

    It’s far too easy to forget that this time in the years prior we were frightened of the H1N1, Bird Flu and also SARS. So do me a favor next time you visit your doctor, clinic or hospital. Thank your health care practitioners for everything they do for us and remember we’re sometimes just as frightened of the things we face but we do it to help you be as healthy as possible so you can be successful at what you do.

    Thank you Amy for posting. I am very appreciative that I can work alongside people that care for the people who they assist as well as themselves. It’s important to ensure we are at our best to continue to provide quality care to those that need us.

  4. And thank you. Thank you. Staying alert is one thing, but jacking up terror is quite another. Fear sells, fear breeds more fear; meanwhile, you and others like you are quietly getting on offering human/humane service, daily. Making a positive difference in times of pain and trouble in other peoples’ lives.

  5. This is inspirational… The world likes more people like you.. There is so much information about ebola over the Internet.. Some people say it’s hoax and related to bio terrorism.. But a first hand experience like this one can definitely be trusted 🙂 salutes!

  6. It has become the sole purpose of media in the past generation, to create, spread, incite and in every way possible increase fear as much as possible, to separate as many groups from one another as possible and divide the nation how ever it can. Using crime to create fear has worked for ages, though crime statistics have dropped steadily in most areas for more than a decade or two now. Using politics is always popular, but it has been around for centuries, so I guess they are getting tired of it.

    Now they have a new toy in their “fear chests” to play with, the fear of a deadly disease spreading rampantly across America! Now, they can try to work up the fears that our health care industry is going to be incapable of handling the numbers of people infected, fear that health care workers will be negligent, fear that doctors and nurses will be careless and thoughtless, and the same people who believe the lies about crimes and politics will be the same ones to believe the new lies.

    Those of us who know workers in the health care industry also know that all year long they have been trained, reminded, and tested on safety procedures “just in case” ebola were to make to here from one of the affected areas. We also understand that they are cautious, not only because they were trained, reminded and tested, but also because they chose those professions because they care about people. They worry about spreading this horrific disease to their neighbors, their friends, their loved ones and their own family. They will be a safe as they can because that is who they are.

  7. You’re a true inspiration to many, keep it up and don’t be shy share it with people who also need hope or just plainly dumb to the facts that the common flu kills way more every year than Ebola has in the United States alone. So thank you for sharing your thoughts and for your efforts.

  8. Reblogged this on Livy Lane On Life and commented:
    My mother is a nurse and reading the headline “Texas health care worker dies”, it makes me afraid. It makes me afraid when she comes home saying that they all had training in preparation for Ebola.

    But you know what? This blogger is right, and God is in control. God bless the dedicated nurses!

  9. Ebola is hitting us but what is much more serious is what are the impacts of waste and pollution on natural water quality and possible feedback impacts on genetic changes in bacteria. Much of antibiotic is injected back to the environment which is causing dramatic changes in the flora and frequency of resistant bacteria. Visit, share and contribute in http:// sustain-earth.com

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