International Nurse Day 2021: An inspiring journey of a nurse during the pandemic

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International Nurse Day 2021: An inspiring journey of a nurse during the pandemic
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Coronavirus affected every aspect of our lives. Lockdown, social distancing, restrictions, facial masks are the new normal and people are now getting used to them. Moreover, there is high mortality, morbidity, poor economy, and pressure on the healthcare system that is bothersome. We bow down to the frontline warriors who are fighting with COVID-19 round the clock and saving the lives of lakhs of people. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers are under immense stress and pressure as the number of infected patients is just rising. Still, they manage to provide services to Covid and non-Covid patients. Likewise, a 42-year-old nurse Reshma Peter Gaurea too is a vital part of the battle against Covid and shares her motivating journey of serving the patients even during these unprecedented times. 

 

A bumpy ride

Many healthcare workers had harrowing experiences during the beginning of the pandemic. One of them was nurse Reshma Peter Surae who had to face problems to fulfil her duties and serve the patients. While recalling her battle journey, she revealed that she was scared when she was stopped from leaving the village where she stays in Bhayandar to go to Wockhardt Hospital Mira Road for her staff nurse duty. “I left from my morning shift when I was stopped by the villagers who threatened me of dire consequences if I crossed the village border. They said I don’t have any right to stay in this village and they will throw me out if I infect anyone or I should myself leave the village with my family. I explained to them that my services under the essential category and I can’t say NO to service my patients. After all, I have pledged to do so. Still, the villagers refused to budge and kept arguing. I was adamant to discharge my duties and hence, ignored their unreasonable demands saying that this is the time when the country needs us.

Many like me are stressed out, got threatened, or even beaten up and still continue to serve the patients. I didn’t want to add a burden on the other nurses in the hospital. It is impossible to step back and sit at home when the entire nation is fighting for survival and the healthcare systems are burdened with patients. Somehow, I managed to escape from their anger and reached the hospital. They had given me 2 options- either I quit the job and sit and home or if I opt to go then I shouldn't come back. To my dismay, I saw threat messages for me and my family in the village what’s app group is and thought of approaching the police as I was scared. What if something happens to me or my family? What if they torture my family? I was determined to serve the patients and was never going to give up on my duties. Throughout the day in the hospital, I was scared, didn’t have food, and consulted my seniors who advised me caution. I had a word throughout with my husband and we approached the police and they offered help,” said nurse Reshma.

 

“Once I left the hospital and entered the village, the villagers stopped me. However, this time the police were there to take care of the matter, and then the villagers allowed me to go home. Back at home, my family was proud of me and provided me that much-needed support. On entering the home, I would make sure I do not touch anything. My kids and husband would sanitize me and the things I would carry. I would immediately go to the washroom and then only carry on with my daily activities like cooking, cleaning, and household chores. This is the routine we still continue to follow over years. I never thought of shifting to the nearby hostel in the hospital premises as my family needed me. I had to take care of my father and father-in-law who fell sick amid pandemic.”

The emotional upheaval

“Since the cases were rising at a rapid rate, I was getting anxious what if I contract the virus, and what if people in the village come in my contact and get infected? What about my kids? How are they going to manage? Though these questions bothered me. To top it all, my kids would come to me crying saying that the other villagers would tell them to stop me from going to the hospital as I may be the source of infection. I would constantly pray and hope that nothing happens to me as the hospital dealt with a huge chunk of Covid patients. I was restless all the time and gave up on food and sleep. But, I never wanted to give up,” said Reshma.

 

The much-needed respite

“With time, the scenario improved and the villagers understood their mistake when I was felicitated this year on International Women’s day that is celebrated on March 8, 2021, for my uninterrupted services during Covid times. Now, the villagers respect me and congratulated me for doing good work. They also offered me every kind of support and cooperation that they can extend from their side. My husband Peter is also there with me and ensures that I don’t face any problems. He also helps me with daily chores and takes care of children. I am happy that the entire country is united to fight the virus,” said elated nurse Reshma.

 

Never-ending hope

“My motto is to serve the patients till my last breath. I do not have any issues or difficulties right now. Things are going smoothly now and together we shall overcome the pandemic and win the battle,” concluded nurse Reshma.

 

ALSO READ: International Nurses Day 2021: Know the theme, history, significance of this day & appreciate all the nurses

 

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