The Nurse Becoming Podcast 

#002 COVID-19: How I Stepped Back Instead of Stepping Up

I have a confession to make.

Something has been weighing heavily on me for the last few months, and it’s not something I’ve talked openly about yet. I’ve been processing and working through a lot of feelings both internally and with a few people I really trust, but I think it’s time.

I need to tell you that when the pandemic began, I was supposed to start a new job in the emergency department in a large hospital in New York City. But I backed out. I couldn’t have predicted the timeline of events (could anyone have?!). I haven’t been serving on the front lines. I stepped back instead of stepping up.

It’s been difficult. Not difficult like it has been for RN and NP families separated by COVID-19 due to risk of contributing to its spread, and not difficult like it’s been for parents and caregivers who wish so badly to be at home with their families during this time of uncertainty. But difficult nonetheless.

I’ve felt a lot of guilt over this decision, despite knowing it’s best for my family. I’ve been afraid to admit that I’ve not been serving, even more afraid to admit why. But because this podcast is to be a space for difficult conversations about the intersection of the professional and the personal, I feel like I need to tell you what I’ve been sitting with.

In this episode, I take a deep dive into the events that led to this decision:
Why I was job hunting to begin with
How I navigated the return to work decision with a new baby
How COVID-19 pretty much ruined my master plan
The guilt, shame, and bullying I went through…from myself.

If you are someone who stepped away from your role as a healthcare provider or someone who decided to find a different path due to the pandemic, I want you to know that what you did is perfectly okay. I want you to recognize that being able to make a decision like that shows strength, and I hope you will take just a moment to allow yourself to feel at peace with your choice.

At the end of the day, when you go home and take your scrubs off, who you are as a person remains. And I think whoever that is is worth prioritizing — even when it’s hard.

Thank you for reading (and listening)! And as always, I am rooting for you.

With love,