The post-it says ‘Nursing is battle weary.’
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, battle weary is ‘1 : affected by war-weariness : tired of or depressed by war. 2 : of, relating to, or being a combat plane so worn or damaged as to be beyond repair and consigned to be scrapped, cannibalized, or used for target practice
Nurses ARE battle weary.
In both senses of the word.
Since well before the beginning of the pandemic we have toiled in the trenches.
Patients are getting sicker.
Productivity demands are making people go home and get off the floor just so the numbers look right.
Never mind that those healthcare workers can be doing things are not “productive” in the eyes of the hospital balance books.
Such as cleaning med rooms.
Cleaning and replacing damaged equipment.
Organizing non-sterile supplies, in the case of the operating room.
Taking a freaking break from the grind.
Before we plaster on our smiles while we greet the next patient.
That was before the pandemic.
The pandemic has made it immeasurably worse.
Except now we use our eyes to smile.
Over our masks.
OR has been doing that for as long as the surgical team has worn masks.
According to my Google-fu, surgical masks came into vogue in the 1920s.
But was started much before that.
Right after Dr. Carl Flugge (there needs to be an umlaut but I can’t make that happen) developed droplet theory of infection in 1897.
Nursing is tired.
Of the coronavirus battle.
Did you think that was just you?
Nurses and other healthcare workers show signs of the second definition of battle-weariness.
Our fuselages are damaged.
And we are constantly being used for target practice.
By the continuing pandemic.
That has mitigation strategies that some people just don’t feel like doing.
By the family members who can’t believe this is happening that grandpa is dying.
Somehow that is nursing’s fault.
Under this constant barrage of fire, nurses and other healthcare workers take up their stethoscopes, put on their masks and greet the next patient.
This is what we do.
Even while being fired upon by science deniers and pandemic deniers.