|Ebola test laboratory in Liberia, Image courtesy of UNMEER|
This interview was recorded on the 03/20/2020 weekend.
JAV: How was your shift today?
NURSE: It almost felt more normal than I expected it to, I guess. There’s this combination of…and I feel bad saying this…ignorance, panic, and self-entitlement that we’re seeing that’s really difficult to deal with. But then, at the same time, we’re kind of used to dealing with this already. I think some of the staff, even among medical people, you’re getting some of that panic where people want all the [personal protective] gear even if they don’t need it to be in that room, or they’re a little hyper-paranoid. And there’s actually a lot of people calling in sick because they just don’t want to be around it. It’s a little crazy. We’re all at home being very careful about social distancing. Everybody is staying home and being very careful about not bringing germs home and all that and then at work all of us are super close together as if it was just any other day. It’s kind of weird.
JAV: How long have you worked as an ER nurse?
NURSE: I’ve worked down in the ER for nine years. I had previously worked in other units.
JAV: How do you think you ended up becoming an ER nurse?
NURSE: (laughs) Almost by accident! When I was a new grad I worked in medical oncology. I wanted to go back to school but the only position that allowed me the flexibility was a float nurse. Back then, I always said, I don’t want to work in the ER. It’s too chaotic. It seems crazy. I like things organized. I like to have my day and plan it but I had a friend at the hospital who kept telling me, come down and work with us…and I just had no interest. That seems like a mess.