Working through the current pandemic together, Jake Nicholson, MSN, MS, RN, CCRN, and Lauren Nicholson, BSN, BS, RN, share their insights about being nurses who are married and facing the challenges together.
We are a husband and wife nursing tandem who both work at Akron City Hospital as well as teach clinicals at Kent State University. Jake works in the medical ICU while Lauren is an ICU float nurse. This year COVID-19 has really turned the world upside down and nursing was pulled to the extreme forefront. Jake worked full time in the COVID ICU, while Lauren would often be floated there as well. This meant constant exposure--we really took the quarantine very seriously. We did video chats with our families and it was pretty much just the two of us for a while there. It’s a good thing that we like each other! We also had to learn quickly how to teach clinicals remotely online. This was no easy feat as clinicals are a very hands on experience, but with the help of the Kent State nursing faculty we were able to successfully finish out the semester with our students.
I was pretty amazed at how my floor transitioned into the COVID ICU. Nurses from novice to experienced dove headfirst into this new challenge of dealing with a pandemic. We really didn’t know anything about this virus nor how to treat patients who had been infected with it. I was amazed at how well the staff handled this delicate situation. No one questioned having COVID patients and we were trained at lightning speed to catch up to the rising number of cases. At times, it was very emotional as COVID claimed the lives of many patients without their loved ones being able to visit them. I am proud of my unit and the professional manner in which the previous peak of the pandemic was handled.
I never knew what I was getting into each shift. I float to any ICU or telemetry floor, so one day I may be on a COVID floor and the next day I would not. With the rules and procedures for COVID changing almost daily, this was hard for me. It was amazing to see how well the nursing staff at Akron City really rose up and helped each other. During this pandemic, I have been proud to be married to a nurse and to be a nurse myself. Nurses everywhere have really stepped up and are continuing to step up to be frontline workers. Even the nurses who are not working directly with COVID are taking on patient populations to which they are not accustomed. The pandemic has been hard to go through, but with the help of family, friends, and coworkers, we will all get through it!