TRANSCRIPT OF AN ORAL HISTORY OF NURSE DIANE
MARCIA: My name is Marcia. I’m on zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic interviewing Diane. Just to start, I need to ask that I have your consent to use this interview on the web page and for the preservation of oral history for George Mason University.
Yes, you have my Consent.
MARCIA: Thank you. We are here to interview Diana during nurse week, to get her personal experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am going to ask a few questions and please feel free to answer or not to answer them if you feel uncomfortable.
Can you briefly explain your occupation?
Uh yes, I am a registered nurse at a level 2 trauma center. Um I’m one of the trauma nurses in the emergency department.
MARCIA: With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, how are you Diana?
Um, I’m hanging in there.
MARCIA: And with the pandemic occurring, what challenges have you faced?
Biggest challenge is, Um currently overcoming covid-19
MARCIA: What is it like being a nurse during a pandemic?
Uh, well, currently um, with this specific strain of the virus, its really difficult cause its new and things are constantly changing as we learn new information. So that’s probably, um the biggest thing right now.
MARCIA: Ok, and what special training did you receive that prepared you for this pandemic?
About every 6 months to a year, we train on donning and doffing. Which like donning is like a specific procedure for assembling PPE and doffing is the procedure for removal of PPE. And…It’s all like evidence-based practice that Uh shows its most effective on how to reduce the possibility of transmission. Um, they also teach us just preparing and protecting ourselves. Uh specifically where to place your hands. And It’s very detailed. Um, we also learn disaster management, um and how to, Uh, manage like mass fatality, mass casualty, Uh, certain incidence and Um triaging based on the current Um state. Based on your Um, for example like your conventional triage would take in the sickest patient first. Um, but during a disaster, since taking the sickest patient first would require mostly, um more resources than would be needed Um for other people to be seen. Uh and That’s not available. So, at that time we go into mass casualty, Uh mass fatality type triage.
MARCIA: And how has the response and aftermath of a pandemic changed you?
Um, I’m definitely more cautious, coming home from work and Uh when I go home to my family. Um I try to be a little more careful on what I did so that I’m not bringing sickness to my family. Um, the laundry room is right at my front door So kinda, like Uh, not even bringing anything into the house. Removing everything at the door and throwing everything in the laundry. Um and just trying to clean and disinfect as much as possible before even getting close to my family.
MARCIA: What are the most important lessons you learned from this pandemic?
Basically, that hospital administration/ Uh CDC/JCAHO staff is not really there for our benefit and our safety. The CDC/JCAHO they have protocols and standards of practice for healthcare to follow. Um, but, with this current situation and the shortage of PPE, Uh they have changed the standards just to meet the supply. Um, so even though they know its not in best practice. Therefore, they, you know that putting the healthcare employees and the public at a higher risk.
MARCIA: If you were to send one message to the public, what would you say to others regarding this pandemic?
This is definitely not a hoax or a joke. Um, be more cautious.. washing your hands. Places your going, what your doing, who you are around, um definitely don’t wear your gloves in public. That’s not protecting you. Um, you have your gloves on, your touching your phone, your touching your hair, your face, you put your hands in your pocket. Um, your not sanitizing in between, and when you remove the gloves. Your basically putting your hands where you touched with the dirty gloves. So, in the hospital when we have gloves on, the moment we touch anything, those gloves have been contaminated. Doesn’t matter how clean that surface is. So, for someone to wear those gloves and then kinda touch something and then go to something else, and then touch that. You basically just spread the germs from one thing to something else, to something else. And then you just continue to touch your body and your face. And you really shouldn’t. So without gloves your actually more conscious of the things your touching. So if you touch something, have a little hand sanitizer in between and go onto the next thing or just try to reduce the amount of things you are touching. Um that’s definitely one thing. Um, that’s it.
MARCIA: How can community members prepare themselves for a pandemic?
Um, I guess now people would maybe kinda trying to keep some what of a supply. Something, but you don’t want to go panic buying and hoard toilet paper like a lot of these other people have done. Um you have to be aware and conscious of others as well. Um but they can definitely, Um that’s probably one of the things. Cause its not even just a pandemic, thats in any emergency situation. Where, Um, it could be for tornado, it could be like earthquake, you lose power, some severe storm. You never really know but just kinda Um just having something to keep you a few days, supply or something. And then Um, kinda of…be more careful of where your getting your information from. Um and trusted sources. You want to go to, not just, Um by someone that believe that they are a trusted sources is more opinionated. But we want to definitely go with facts. Um and if we are dealing with a virus we want something a scientific fact. Right! So, um that’s one of the things you wanna kinda do. Um well yeah. Just be a little more cautious.
MARCIA: Is there anything you wanted to talk about that we did not get to cover?
MARCIA: Is there anything you would like to add?
um I think people during this time to think of your neighbors, especially the elderly or ones that cant get out to get supplies. Its to much for themselves. Check in on them regularly, Um for their health and their psychological state. This time can be very depressing and stressful. There is something could do people can do to support their community.
MARCIA: Thank you very much for your time. Ladies and gentlemen, Nurse Diane.
For more information please visit
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/video/pandemic-resources/1918-pandemic-flu/1918-pandemic-flu-lowres.wmv