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Kylie CassidyIn response to a video message that School of Nursing Dean Nancy Meedzan sent to seniors, Kylie Cassidy shared a poignant summary of her recent experiences participating in an Acute Care clinical at a local North Shore hospital.

“This past week I worked 52 hours at my job at [the hospital] to help with the demands of the unit….This week was one that I will never forget, and it was a turning point in my nursing career. The acuity on the floor is heavier than ever, and almost half of the patients are being ruled out, or are testing positive for COVID-19. I have assisted in rapid responses, codes, and have seen patients deteriorate so quickly due to this virus.”

Cassidy then described the dedication of her colleagues and how that inspires her to do more, and how she witnessed first-hand the toll this pandemic has on both the patient and the relatives of those inflicted.

“… I have learned the true meaning of what it means to be a nurse in this chaotic time. I have stayed past my scheduled hours to help my team, because the unit was just so crazy. I held back tears until I got home from work and broke down because a positive COVID-19 patient, who was CMO, could not have family at his bedside because of this horrible virus. I have had a tough time dealing with the fact that these COVID-19 patients have to sit in their rooms all day, with the door closed, and are not allowed to have family members at the bedside. The critical acuity of these patients interests me, and I feel like working in the hospitals right now is the best experience I can get while approaching becoming a new nurse shortly.”

Cassidy feels that being in the hospital for a clinical, especially now, truly makes a difference for patients and her own professional growth. She’s right.