As you read this, I hope that the worst of the pandemic is in our rear-view.
I have to admit that I am having a hard time imagining a post-pandemic world. It seems we have been struggling to find our way out of the longest tunnel for more than a year. But here we are, ready to turn the page and put the past to rest, an experience that we are unlikely to forget.
Though this pandemic devastated, upended, and disrupted our lives, it also taught me to treasure all that’s important – my family, both at work and at home.
When we faced so many unknowns in the early days, I know many frontline health providers were forced to self-isolate to protect their families. We’ve also spent a year apart from other family members outside our households. I’ve always prioritized family, but being away from loved ones has made it more apparent than ever how much they mean to me. Despite the distance, my family was the greatest source of strength for me during this period.
Working in a healthcare setting has always been demanding. But this past year-and-a-half has been a testament to the resilience and strength of healthcare workers. More than ever, I have come to see my colleagues and co-workers as an extension of my family. Collectively we—RPNs, RNs, NPs, physicians, and PSWs—were facing the same difficult realities.
It was therapeutic to talk to someone who was in the same boat and understood the challenges, the struggles, and triumphs. I hope that the pandemic has helped to foster more cohesion among teams who have had shared this collective experience this past year. As we look ahead, I believe we will be stronger as a result.
I would like to take this opportunity to particularly salute and thank the RPNs who went above and beyond and pushed past their fatigue and fears. We ran to the fire without pausing to consider the consequences. I have personally witnessed their hard work and compassion towards those in their care.
We pitched in and helped when it mattered the most. Many of us faced times when we were tempted to give up, but we held on. Thank you to each and everyone of you for your hard work and dedication. You have raised the bar, and you should be proud.
As your association president, I am committed to ensuring RPNs get their due recognition and that our voices are heard.
As we look ahead, no one knows what the future will hold. Will we feel safe and confident enough to revert to all the social interactions like hugs and handshakes, or will we be ever so cautious? Only time will tell.
The theme for this issue is New Beginnings. I look forward to taking the lessons from the past and moving ahead with renewed hope. I wish you all good health.
Suzanne Schell, RPN
President, WeRPN Board