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Challenges and Self-Care for Nurses During COVID-19

Moving to a New Location During the Pandemic

I will start by saying the obvious that due to COVID, getting educated has been quite a challenge. From taking online classes to downloading softwares to confirm that one is not cheating. It has been quite a learning curve for all of us. I recently moved to Ontario from Saskatchewan, and it was a whole different panic level and restrictions when it came to the pandemic. Getting a job in health care was not hard but getting used to the system here was quite a challenge. Being a mother of two kids, 5 and 2, it was indeed and challenge to adjust to a new place and a new set of laws/regulations. 

I was lucky enough to get a job near where I lived but the work environment was quite different. Lack of staff was always blamed due to lack of funding and all the staff members were overworked and stressed. I tried my best to stay positive and treat every experience as a learning curve and a step towards a successful career as a Registered Practical Nurse. Change in the geographical scene was a significant factor in bringing my motivation up. Saskatchewan was flat and vast whereas Ontario is full of greenery and always busy. I am also overly excited thinking about completing this course and the number of opportunities it will open for me. The kids have been supportive, and they let me study “most” of the time. There have been times where I felt that I took a challenge that I will not be able to complete but thinking about the result keeps me going. There are a lot of trails around where I live and going for walks and enjoying nature has been therapeutic and I intend to continue this routine.

In this current pandemic I think nurses are definitely feeling more stress, and are tired in their careers as well as continuing to try to be present for family and other commitments. Self-care can be accomplished in many different ways.  It may be spending time with a pet, or being by yourself and present in a quiet moment, listening to music etc. It seems we are all in similar situations, such as taking on more than one course, and spending large amounts of time studying or going through changes in family situations. For myself I have been taking this course, as well as studying to write my Canadian Nurses Association certification exam for Psychiatric and mental health nursing.  I have also taken on a new job which has been my 3rd position since the pandemic began.  Part of my self-care has been taking this new job which is a job I previously held and realized I missed it and wanted to return to this work environment. It is funny as I think my family and friends knew before I did that my place was in this work environment.  Part of the stress relief I feel in this job is that I again am blessed to work with an incredible team and being a part of this team provides me great professional satisfaction. Feeling like I am making a difference brings me joy.  

The time I have dedicated to studying for this class I think I will devote to a daily exercise routine.  I as well enjoy walking and feel it is a great way to de-stress and enjoy being outside.  I am doing this to prepare myself to enjoy snowshoeing when the snow comes. As with every class I have taken I enjoy reading other people’s perspectives on nursing issues. I hope you all have found your joy in nursing and if not I hope you do soon.  I wish you all the best in your future endeavours in your career and schooling and best of luck on your exam.

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