Making eye contact with a person and letting them know that they’re important is a basic human need

Members Stories

“I’ve worked as an HEU Care Aide since 1993, same position, same hospital.
 
COVID-19 certainly brings heightened awareness of isolation techniques. The demands are greater; managing time and coping with the stress are a real challenge.
 
The vast majority of our patient population is seniors. We recently had an outbreak.
 
It’s a struggle. I try to be aware of myself and my feelings. Quite often, I feel like I can trick myself into thinking, ‘I’m doing okay.’ But then, the house of cards kind of crumbles and it’s like, “Oh, evidently, you’re not okay.’
 
So, I try to be aware: am I getting a good night’s sleep? Am I getting outdoors? Am I drinking water? Simple things like that.
 
I want to keep myself safe. I want to keep my family and friends safe. I have been vigilant in avoiding gatherings, missing out on some sporting activities that I used to use as a stress relief, and certainly having to learn to use ZOOM and other online tools to achieve some sense of connection.
 
I chose to get vaccinated because of the appreciation for the job we do and the vulnerable patients we work with, so I certainly encourage other people to also take that into consideration. I kind of view it as getting the flu shot. I took the flu shot for the past how many years, which I probably wouldn’t have done if I was in a different line of employment.
 
Two years ago, I split up with a long-term relationship and was going through counseling. This pandemic over the last year has really allowed me to focus on myself and eliminate distractions, which was really part of my healing after this broken relationship.
 
I really do feel that we care with our hearts and our souls and our hands. We can easily slip between the cracks and lose that emotional, spiritual, soulful connection. Medicine can help you physically, but making eye contact with a person and letting them know that they’re important is a basic human need.”
 
- Carolyn, Care Aide, part of the health care team