By Oma Lesa Pierre
“We also go the extra mile for our patients and their families during the season.” This is according to Leroy Anthony Sealey, a nurse attached to the Emergency Room at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
After seven years of working in the nursing profession, 26-year-old Sealey, who grew up in Mahaicony, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), said he has no regrets about being in the profession.
As a lad, Sealey eyed a career in law enforcement, however, he is grateful for the prompting and guidance of his parents towards the career he now enjoys.
Sealey, who recently graduated as one of the best graduating students with a BSc in Emergency Nursing from the University of Vanderbilt in collaboration with the University of Guyana, highlighted that his three-year-old son was his greatest inspiration to self-development.
“He is my world and the reason I continue to elevate myself and do my best. My son gives me a sense of direction.”
Recounting his most memorable experience as a nurse, Sealey said his greatest joy was witnessing a person being completely resuscitated.
“My greatest experience and memory so far was when I was working in Intensive Care Unit. I witnessed a dead patient being brought back to life. I knew from that moment I could never do anything else other than this. The satisfaction I felt was so intense.”
Sealey intends to pursue his Master’s Degree in an effort to further improve his skills within the next five years.
Recalling his most traumatic experience as a nurse, Sealey said dealing with paediatric patients who are really sick and not being able to aid them in a full capacity is often heart-breaking.
“When you try your best to render assistance and the outcome is poor, then you have to deal with the relatives and patients of those angels, it’s just heart-breaking.”
According to Sealey, his jovial personality and the support of his colleagues and family get him through each day at work despite the circumstances.
“Personally, I never resented taking those dreaded shifts during the Christmas season. Working the holiday shift is something we should do with grace for our fellow teammates and patients, which is the only fair thing to do. Working during the holidays can be lonely and tedious, or it can be memorable and even joyous time spent with the nursing staff and patients. It’s basically what you make of it.
“When you’re part of a team, it is only fair that each person sacrifice at least one of the “big” holidays away from our families. It is a nurse’s duty and it comes with the territory,” he said.
For some, holiday shifts can seem like an eternity spent away from their home and children, but some often consider it a blessing being able to save lives on a daily basis.
For Sealey, he always has a positive outlook to work during the holidays, since it is a chance to be with his second family. According to him, we all have two families, those at home and those at work, and sometimes, being with our “work family” on Christmas morning can be a rewarding experience.
“Christmas mornings at the hospital are quite festive, since we have a variety of food to eat, it’s always [a] wonderful experience with my fellow coworkers. On the bright side, who doesn’t like food?” the nurse ask jokingly.
“We all need to remember that generosity and thankfulness is the true essence of the season.”
We live in a less-than- perfect world, hospitals must remain open and staffed to care for the sick and injured and as providers of essential services, nurses must be available throughout the year to attend to patients.
“Saving lives on a daily basis gives me a sense of satisfaction that my efforts as a nurse are not in vain.”
Being a nurse comes with a lot of pressure and responsibility, oftentimes persons don’t understand the strain it puts on both your physical and mental health. Only those behind the scenes have a firsthand experience of how it affects you. We often try to separate our work and personal life, but that is a tough task when you have such huge responsibilities.
In this line of work, nothing is assured. In a mini second, someone can lose their life so nurses have the enormous responsibility to take their job seriously.
Sealey beamed as he spoke about the profession and all it has to offer. He intends to continue to perform to the best of his abilities.
“The Christmas bonus that was offered this year, myself and [other] nurses are thankful for. We work extremely hard and tirelessly, so it will do a great deal for us.”