Q and A with a Nurse

Fevidaury Valerio Arias, Hostos ‘17, Licensed Practical Nurse

 

This interview was conducted by Felix O. Sánchez, Alumni Relations Manager, and has been edited for length and clarity.

 

Hostos nursing alumna Fevidaury Valerio Arias, 17, is a Licensed Practical Nurse at one of Metropolitan Jewish Hospital Services’ nursing homes, where she’s worked for two and a half years. While she generally enjoys her job very much, it has been an especially tough time for the Hostos grad as she serves on the COVID-19 crisis frontlines. Here she reflects on what it’s like to work in healthcare during a pandemic and how she manages to maintain a positive outlook through it all.

 

Q: What type of work have you been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

A: I’m a Licensed Practical Nurse. My facility has had a few COVID cases. It’s been very tough. I give out medication, I do the charts, I also do reports. I provide primary care to the patients. Sometimes I even help with feeding the patients. But it’s very tough. Some of them are actually on ventilators, so we have to do trach care. We also give them nebulizer treatments.

 

Q: How have you been involved in the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic? 

A: I work for the Metropolitan Jewish Hospital Services in one of their nursing homes; it’s one of the biggest ones in the state. We started doing the swabs for the testing, but then they hired a lab to do them. But when we receive the results, we have to call the state and report it. Then there is the infection control, which requires a lot of communication, teamwork with doctors, nurses, and CNA’s, and with the state, too.

 

Q: How has your job and role during the crisis impacted you—personally, professionally, emotionally, physically? 

A: Physically and emotionally, it is a lot. Sometimes we don’t even want to talk to our family members because it gets to a point where they feel helpless; there is a lot that we’re going through, and they would like to do more. But at least find a loved one or somebody you trust that you can vent to and talk about your day because it’s not good to hold those feelings to yourself. I appreciate everybody’s job—not only doctors and nurses are essential. All the sanitation, environmental and dietary workers—without them, this wouldn’t work. Everybody plays a vital part in this pandemic. Even if nursing is demanding, I couldn’t be more proud to have chosen this field because it just makes me happy when I help others.

 

Q: What advice do you have for others entering your field during a time of crisis? 

A: If you have a passion for it, it doesn’t matter how draining it is—it is mentally and emotionally draining sometimes—it is also fulfilling. Just go for it and you are always going to find something positive to take out of everything you do.


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