According to Forbes.com, Nurses are the #1 most trusted profession in the entire world with medical doctors at a close second in terms of ethical standards and honesty.
That says a lot. Especially considering nurses have earned this title for the 17th year in a row.
When we tell you that you’re going to be okay, you trust us. You reach for our hand with tears in your eyes and you know that we will be the first person you see when you wake up from surgery.
When we teach you how to manage your diabetes, you trust us. You don’t argue and tell us that diabetes is a hoax and that it isn’t real.
When a doctor sits you down to have that dreaded conversation, there are no more options to treat your cancer and that he recommends that we do our best to keep you comfortable, you trust him and you know that they hold your best interest at heart.
When we tell you you have a bladder infection and we prescribe you antibiotics, you go to the pharmacy and pick them up and take them, right?
When your child isn’t breathing, when your dad is having a stroke, you trust us.
When we tell you you are cancer free, you believe what we say, right?
When we show you the scans, the statistics, the test results, the data for which we base our practice on, you believe us.
So when we tell you that the coronavirus is really killing young people, why do you argue?
When we tell you that it isn’t just the elderly that are dying from COVID, why don’t you believe us?
When we tell you that just because you are healthy and don’t have an underlying or preexisting condition, doesn’t mean that you will survive the coronavirus, why do you tell me that this is all a hoax?
When we tell you that we have actually seen with our own two eyes how devastating this disease is, why do you tell me the media is making it all up?
When we tell you we have seen how this disease can destroy a perfectly healthy person, how can you tell us you know better because you don’t know anyone who has had it?
When I tell you that I’ve had to face time my deceased patient’s dead body to their loved ones so they can say goodbye, why do you tell me that it really isn’t that deadly?
When you tell me this will all end after the election, does that mean I won’t get any more COVID admissions to the ICU in December?
The God’s honest truth is, nobody knows. If we, the actual healthcare providers who are really working with COVID patients, are being real with you, this is a guessing game.
The symptoms, the treatments, the timeline, we do not know what the hell we were hit with, when it will end, or what the right way is. If we don’t know, how do you?
Do masks work to prevent the spread? We think it is worth trying but it is too new for us to say for sure.
Should you stay home and avoid large crowds? It would reduce your risk of contracting the disease but it is too new to us to say for sure.
Does plaquenil work to treat COVID-19? We think there are better options but we aren’t sure what the best treatment is yet. It’s too new to say for sure.
If I’m young and healthy am I going to die from it? Young and healthy people have died from it but most get through okay. It is still too new to us to say for sure.
Can I spread it if I don’t have symptoms? Data suggests that you can spread it while asymptomatic but it is still so new to us to say for sure.
If we don’t have all of the answers, how do you?
Here is what we really do know:
It is too new for us to say anything for certain.
It is real. It is here.
Yes, even in Iowa.
It isn’t made up.
It is terrible.
It is worth wearing a mask because it probably helps limit the spread.
It is worth staying home for because it probably decreases the risk of contracting COVID.
If you don’t get COVID then you don’t spread COVID.
We believe this to be true with the same conviction that we believe weight loss and exercise lowers blood pressure, the same way we believe you need regular cancer screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies, and the same way we believe you need to finish ALL of your antibiotics even if you are feeling better.
With that, I’ll close with this:
Trust us like you trust us when we are saving your child.
Trust us like you trust us when we tell you to take your antibiotics.
Trust us like you trust us when we tell you you’re cancer free.
Trust us like you trust your life with us every other day of the year.
Trust us when we tell you that the coronavirus is real.
Trust us like we are the #1 most trustworthy profession for the 17th year in a row.
Sincerely, An ICU nurse who actually takes care of COVID patients