Stories of Resilience: Emily Cheng

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I think doing these tiny little things and creating any sort of normalcy in a super abnormal situation really does make a big difference.

I had a patient who was medically stable but was positive for COVID-19 and admitted to the hospital. When I was taking care of this specific patient, there were a lot of emotions and feelings. I experienced everything from the fear of being exposed to the disease, needing to protect myself, protecting other patients in the hospital and protecting my home and who I live with.

My situation with this particular patient broke my heart because she was Russian-speaking and unable to see her daughter, who was her only family member in town. Humans really need that in-person connection and interaction. It made me feel initially sad because these patients are even more isolated in their hospital rooms and completely closed off because COVID-19 is highly contagious.

We, the nurses, minimize exposure to the patients and we make sure that we have all the supplies and equipment that we need. I decided to put myself in my patient’s shoes and spend a little bit more time than usual in this patient’s room. I really try to spend my time extra time with these patients so that they can feel the human connection that they need.

Whenever I have a patient situation in the hospital, especially during the pandemic, it makes me feel initially sad. I always remind myself of the things I can control and I allow myself to feel empowered by that. I make the intention to lift up the spirits of my patients and with this particular patient, I made sure that we took care of her daily needs such as getting her out of bed, sitting up into the chair in front of the window with the sun shining and giving her what she needed to brush her teeth and wash her face and feel like a human again.

I think doing these tiny little things and creating any sort of normalcy in a super abnormal situation really does make a big difference. I also think people just need to take it day-by-day because right now we can’t predict anything. We can’t really look ahead for what life’s going to look like. 

I think we need to extend the grace and compassion to ourselves first and foremost and realize that every day is going to look a little bit different and that we’re trying our best every single day.

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.

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