Katie Ellefson, RN, BSN (16), Joanna Kaiser, RN, BSN (15), 安娜玛丽亚·马斯特勒, RN, BSN (16)
Katie Ellefson, RN, BSN (16), Joanna Kaiser, RN, BSN (15), 安娜玛丽亚·马斯特勒, RN, BSN (16)

“I got hired onto a medical floor 在哪里 normally we see a wide variety of patients,凯蒂·埃尔夫森反思道, RN, BSN (16), who in February began her first nursing job at the Inova health system’s medical campus in Fairfax, 维吉尼亚州. “我开始工作三周后,我们整个楼层都变成了新冠病毒病房.”

This wasn’t how Miss Ellefson or her two fellow Thomas Aquinas College alumnae — Joanna Kaiser, RN, BSN (15), 安娜玛丽亚·马斯特勒, RN, BSN(' 16) -设想他们的医疗事业将开始. 三个朋友, 都是护理学校的应届毕业生, accepted positions at the same hospital only weeks before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus upended American medicine. 现在它消耗了他们的时间.

“The day I came to shadow during orientation week was the day our unit transitioned to a COVID-19 unit,凯泽小姐说。. 马斯特勒小姐补充道, “在我工作的头三个星期, I was able to have a somewhat normal orientation with just regular medical/surgical patients. 现在我们专门照顾COVID患者.”

他们说,时机是天意. “You know you have a great job when you arrive at the hospital for a 13-hour night shift, 昏昏沉沉,还有点暴躁, 第二天早上,你平静而快乐地离开,艾尔夫森小姐说. “I'm very grateful that I became a nurse in time to be able to help out in whatever ways I can in this crazy time.”


几年前他们从十大网络彩票平台大全毕业的时候, 这些新护士都没有立即从事医疗事业的计划. 当凯泽小姐考虑进入宗教生活时, all three traveled and worked various jobs near the 加州 campus until — inspired, 在某种程度上, by each other — they began to take prerequisite classes and apply to various nursing programs. “It was so wonderful to have these girls with me along for the whole journey,凯泽小姐说。. “我们一起工作过。, 一起上课, 在整个申请过程中互相支持.”

Eventually Miss Masteller and Miss Kaiser enrolled in an accelerated program at the University of Massachusetts, 阿默斯特, 在哪里, 凯泽小姐写道, 他们“很享受TAC的社区生活, 新英格兰, 当我们学习的时候.“艾尔夫森小姐, 与此同时, 在克利夫兰参加了一个类似的项目, 俄亥俄州, and the three met up again in 维吉尼亚州 after completing their licensing examinations earlier this year. 

For these friends, working together during this time of isolation is a great comfort. “One thing that has really been affected with this virus is our ability to mingle with other new nurses in the hospital,马斯特勒小姐说. “There are usually classes and meetings every other week for the new nurses to gather and share the various experiences that come along with being new to the unit. I am so lucky, 然而, to have two very close friends who are starting at the same time.” 


虽然大流行并没有太大改变护理的基本职责, 护士报告说, rampant fear and uncertainty have radically altered the environment in which medicine is practiced.

“为了限制我们与病人的接触, 我们尽力集中照顾, 每次只在每个房间待20分钟,马斯特勒小姐说. “And, of course, we are fully gowned and gloved, with masks and face shields. 我们也在更频繁地检查他们的呼吸状况.“随着研究人员对病毒性质的了解越来越多, 卫生保健工作者必须相应地改变他们的做法. “医院的政策几乎每天都在变化,凯泽小姐说。, “as we attempt to adapt and respond to the needs of the community and the needs of the staff.”

这场危机, 然而, 对护士的病人来说最痛苦的是什么, 谁必须和一个神秘的人战斗, possibly deadly illness without the consolation of visits from friends and family. “Most of the time we are the only people who are physically coming into the room to check on these patients,艾尔夫森小姐说. “They are generally more lonely, scared, and anxious than our typical patients. Being able to be the person who can go in there and cheer them up and make their stay even just a little better has honestly been such a gift.”

这是, 毕竟, what drew these young women into medicine in the first place: the opportunity to comfort the afflicted in their time of need, and it makes even the newly heightened dangers of the medical profession worthwhile. “Being infected with some illness at the hospital has always been a risk for healthcare workers, 当我选择这个职业时,我选择了冒险,凯泽小姐说。. “我相信神已经把我放在他要我去的地方, 在培训期间,我会尽可能多地学习, 这样我就能提供我所能提供的最好的照顾.”


这是他们的信仰, 护士们说, that gives them the strength to withstand their arduous entry into the nursing profession — a faith nurtured and deepened during their time at Thomas Aquinas College. “The education and community life at TAC provided me with a solid foundation in the faith and a love of truth that has been a rock to stand on in uncertain times and a shield from the 焦虑 of the world,凯泽小姐说。. “At the College I learned that ultimately everything is in God's hands,艾尔夫森小姐说. 我们必须完全信靠他,不要向恐慌屈服, 焦虑, 并强调这个世界一直在推动我们.”

Although she has known that she wanted to be a nurse since she was eight years old, Miss Ellefson says she has no regrets about earning a bachelor of liberal arts degree at the College before going to nursing school. “My years at TAC prepared me for nursing in ways I never planned or foresaw,” she explains. 我带着一个清洁工离开了, more analytical mind; I am able to reason better and, 最重要的是, 神会更好.正如马斯特勒小姐所说, “已经上过大学了, 尤其是像TAC这样的大学, I was able to take my nursing studies very seriously and enter the field with a very holistic approach, 试图了解每个身体系统的全貌, 疾病, 或药物, 而不仅仅是记住摆在我面前的东西.”

Their Catholic liberal education has prepared them to enter their new profession with a peaceful and confident longing to serve, 即使在混乱和焦虑中. “做一名护士在很多方面都很有挑战性, 没有人会说这很迷人,艾尔夫森小姐说. “But we are offered concrete opportunities every moment of every shift to ease the suffering of our patients and make their nights a little better in very simple ways — and that can be very rewarding.”