Celebrating 2022 National Nurses Week at University of Guelph Student Wellness, Health Services

{music plays, and see a group of nurses in front of the Health and Performance Centre waving, a nurse seen inside the clinic}

{U of G Health Services nurses take turns telling about their experiences during the pandemic. Footage is clips of nurses speaking from their homes, the clinic or outdoors.}

Lori: Hi there my name is Lori Heitshu and I am an RN at Student Health Services. What has working at Student Health Services meant to me during the pandemic?

Katherine: Oh too many, it takes too many words to describe what these past two years have meant to me.

Casey: Not gonna lie it’s been pretty stressful.

Lori: Well, it’s definitely been an emotional rollercoaster.

Sherri: Without a doubt, the last two years have been the most challenging of my 25-plus years as a registered nurse.

Lori: My emotions initially started off as guilt. we would get people walking by as I sat at a screening desk thanking me for being a nurse and friends and family also thanking me. Yet, I wasn’t really being a nurse. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for our community or for our campus.

Pam: The pandemic was uh feelings of not being enough.

Katherine: Initially I felt unworthy to be called a nurse because nurses were getting a lot of attention on being heroes and I felt like I wasn’t contributing

Pam: Out on the front lines and not uh being the nurse that you kind of felt that you should be

Sherri: We didn’t what we didn’t know was huge and what we knew was very small and as a nurse it’s a very uncomfortable feeling to have people asking you for help and you’re trying to help and you’re not sure what you tell me is the right thing and this was a very serious situation in those early days I just remember them being very fraught.

Casey: Every time I came in there was a new change everything was constantly pivoting.

Lori: Thank goodness those feelings were short-lived because in the coming months after the pandemic started we actually opened our own covid assessment center so that was amazing gave us some hope but in saying that it also created some anxiety because we had to learn some new skills we together had to assess very sick people and there was some anxiety there too even though we were wearing gowns and shields and masks we still didn’t know a lot about this virus and our own mortality would be how what would happen if we got it ourselves and our took it home to our family.

Katherine: I was scared but what a privilege that has been um and the teamwork that you know I could not have done what I’ve done in the past two years without this team of nurses doctors admin and you know of course our manager public health numerous numerous people that all came together for the betterment of our students.

Pam: With the students coming back this year it really opened my eyes as to how important that piece is to me as a nurse that connection that caring connection being able to not do incredibly heroic things but just those little day-to-day connections with them let them know we want what’s best for them and we’re there to help them on their journey.

Gillian: But I’m looking forward to working with students and seeing their faces again.

Katherine: We’re still in it but we’re getting closer and just a privilege and an honor to help the students to be there for the students and you know to ease their minds um their souls

Lori: We can look back and we can say that it’s made us stronger and for me too at this point in my career I enjoy coming to work every day and I love our students.

Casey: It’s an honor it’s been an honor after being a nurse for 37 years to feel like i have was able to contribute and have an impact and really help in this latest health crisis.

Sherri: We are a lot stronger than we thought we were and we really can tackle anything and I’m so very very very fortunate to be a nurse working with such a great team at university of student health services

Casey: Happy nurses week!

{music plays, and see a Montage of pictures of Health Services nurses out front of the assessment centre sign and inside the HPC building all wearing PPE and working during the pandemic.}