As intensity continues to build with the COVID-19 health crisis, the call for doctors and nurses has been significant. Many have responded with selfless valor, though the threat is very real. Some sources have even asked medical professionals to come out of retirement to provide support and relief from the siege of COVID-19.
But there are also clinicians with jobs in the corporate world who are choosing to volunteer their time and skills in order to help as best they can. SimpliFi’s Clinical Director, Ivvy Yong, is a registered nurse who decided to answer the call for support. In addition to spending her days working for SimpliFi, ensuring that partner hospitals have what they need, she now spends time on nights and weekends working as an RN at her local hospital.
We spoke with her about what her experience has been like.
What prompted you to jump back into scrubs and get on the front lines?
As a nurse, during a time of crisis, you want to help where you are needed with the nursing skills that you have. It’s a time when nurses come together and help each other out, and it’s all about the patients and how we can assist them in their time of need, even if that just means listening.
When the COVID-19 crisis threatened my community, I knew it was time to get back into the trenches and use the skills that I’ve been taught throughout my nursing career. It is amazing what you can see on the front lines when healthcare workers come together. That’s what motivated me to go back into the hospital to help.
What did you see, learn, and experience?
Mostly what you see are frightened people that have very little understanding of what is actually going on. The education they receive via social media, newspapers, and television doesn’t tell the whole story. You also learn a lot about yourself and what you as a human being are willing to risk in order to save the lives of those who really need it. You learn to make do with the equipment, supplies, and staff that you have.
The experience is nothing that can ever be fully explained or described. Some of the experience is fear for yourself and your loved ones because after the day, you have to go home. The experience of doing CPR on someone your own age that has succumbed to the Coronavirus is unnerving, because you keep thinking it could be you.
At the same time, the front line experience is exhilarating and touching because we help each other out, and it doesn’t matter what part you play on the front line as a provider, nurse, cleaning staff, or RT — it’s about the support you give and receive.
How is this impacting your day-to-day job at SimpliFi?
The impact has been significant and humbling. I’m interviewing nurses who want to do the same thing I’ve done many times before, work to save lives during a crisis. They all want to make an impact and change the world, but they don’t understand this is very different from the day-to-day nursing they experience without a crisis threatening the nation. This was not taught in nursing school.
Remembering Our Medical Professionals
It may be a long time before we fully understand the impact this will have on the medical community. Thankfully, as medical professionals of all kinds put their health and livelihood at risk, many communities are stepping up to show their appreciation. From donations of flowers and food to flashing police lights, applause, and cheering from a distance, people across the world are trying to express their gratitude for this sacrificial behavior.
It’s a reminder that we can still support them as they support us so that we can all get through this together. Thank you to Ivvy and the many, many others who are serving on the front lines of this battle right now!
To learn more about how you can help nurses and health care workers right now, head to the ANA, Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses website for more information.