Who Takes Care of Pandemic Nurses? Their Dogs
The challenges of nurses working on the frontlines during the pandemic have been well documented. Facing personal risk, impossible decisions, and heartbreaking loss, they’ve soldiered on despite exhaustion. “You come back to work, and you ask who died,” Bridget Klingenberg, an intensive care nurse at Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, MI., told the New York Times. “I don’t think people understand the toll that that takes unless you’ve actually done it.” How do these nurses cope? Those with dogs find solace, comfort, and company in their four-legged friends. Meet four nurses whose canine companions have helped them cope.
Mariya, RN, + Max
"During the chaos of pandemic nursing, I often came home carrying the stress of a long workday. Maxi was always at the door excited to greet me and cheer me up with a slobbery kiss! Our daily jogs together became one of the most important and restorative acts of self-care for me."
Kim, RN, + Buddy
"Among many other stressors, the pandemic brought constant change in my nursing practice. Patient care and processes were ever evolving. Buddy’s care was the one stable constant. His needs remained simple, as always: hellos, cuddles, and some short walks. Loving Buddy was my much-needed constant in the pandemic."
Michelle, LPN, student RN, + Ava and Andy
"Reflecting on the ways the pandemic has affected my daily life, isolation comes to mind. Coming home to Ava and Andy and their unconditional love, happiness, and excitement lifts me up after a long, mentally exhausting nursing day. I couldn’t ask for better companions."
Ann, RN, + Max and Marco
"The past two years have been life-changing for us all. As a nurse working with seniors, it has been heartbreaking to see them shut in their homes, isolated and lonely. I thank God daily that I have my fur-babies to restore normality to my life."