University Hospital of Northern B.C., in Prince George. (UBC photo)

University Hospital of Northern B.C., in Prince George. (UBC photo)

‘I am tired, and my soul hurts’: B.C. nurse reflects on working in ICU unit during COVID

Renée Bush writes about what it is like on the front-line of the pandemic in the north

As an ICU nurse I have dealing with COVID patients in the Prince George hospital. I am wanting people to recognize that COVID is real in the north.

The Health Care Team is working long difficult hours and extra shifts. This is not only physically exhausting, but emotionally and mentally draining.

I am nursing critically ill patients to the best of my ability, but it hurts my heart every day to be nursing people separated from their loved ones.

I field daily phone calls from families wanting updates about their special person that they love so much. They feel alienated and stressed that they can’t be with them. They tell me that they appreciate that we are at the bedside caring for their dad or sister or whomever it might be. They tell me little things about their loved one to let me get to know them, even if it is just a small portion of who that person is.

READ MORE: B.C. records 640 new COVID-19 cases, 24 deaths Wednesday

I hear the cracks in their voices as they talk to me, trying not to cry. They always end the conversation with please tell them I love them. Even though most of my patients are unconscious I tell them I will, and I do. It makes me cry too. I want people to remember when they see the stats that these are real people, with lives and families, they are not just numbers.

I truly connect with my patients. I go home thinking about them and their families. I have constant thoughts in my head wondering if all my patients will still be there tomorrow when I get back to work. It’s hard to just turn your brain off. Every death hurts us, we really are working so very hard.

READ MORE: ‘Feels like a dream came true’: Health-care workers receive COVID vaccine in B.C.

I hear the ventilator and monitor alarms even when I am at home. My face hurts from my respirator that I wear so much, the other parts of my day I wear the same mask as all of you.

I am tired, and my soul hurts.

I went into nursing because I care about people. As true northerners we all care and love our neighbours. I am asking for your help to think of others and not just yourself.

I know it sucks to not have Christmas with loves ones. I don’t get to see my family either. Small sacrifices for the big picture are what is needed right now.

Social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing or sanitizing your hands goes a long way. It’s all we have right now to try to flatten the curve that has grown substantially. Be kind to others, remember this is a sacrifice everyone is making right now.

My work life has changed dramatically, but so has my home life just like yours. As the north we are one big community. We can work together to take a huge load off the healthcare system and keep ourselves safe and healthy.

Please adhere to the provincial guidelines of social distancing and not having social gatherings at this time.

– Renée Bush, Prince George



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin checking drivers on BC highways

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

JANGO the police dog helped track down a suspect on Luckakuck Way in Chilliwack. (RCMP photo)
Alleged thief in Chilliwack can’t fool the nose of JANGO the police dog

An Edmonton man who allegedly broke into a storage container on Luckakuck Way was arrested

Chilliwack RCMP nab two alleged thieves targeting bait vehicle

A man from Port Coquitlam and a woman from Delta were stopped and arrested at Eagle Landing Parkway

The AHL Board of Governors has approved the Vancouver Canucks decision to move their franchise to Abbotsford. (File photo)
AHL approves Canucks’ franchise relocation to Abbotsford

Board of Governors approves move, season set to start on Oct. 15

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read