For nurses working with COVID-19 patients, life in the hospital is enough of a struggle. But for ones who take care of kids, the challenge takes on a whole new dimension, juggling the duties of caring for patients and way that affects their responsibilities of caring for children.
Martha Bieler, a UNLV School of Nursing graduate student and mother, works in the Children’s Special Services at Sunrise Hospital, in the emergency room department. She lives with several of her grandchildren, helping educate them about the risks associated with COVID-19.
“The younger ones, I think they’re happy to be home. They’re still young to where they’re not independent enough, so they don’t feel as bad as teenagers,” she said. Her 17-year-old granddaughter though, like many teens, is overwhelmed with the radical changes to socializing.
“She has to do homeschool her senior year,” Bieler said. “It’s devastating, and she understands and talks to us. She doesn’t like the fact she has to stay home. Her friends can’t come because we don’t know where they’ve been.”
Bieler’s daughter also challenged her on wanting to go out more; her angst also came from not getting a proper celebration after graduating from the College of Southern Nevada this year.
While Bieler had to stand firm on limiting outside exposure, part of her duty as a mother and a nurse is to keep everything in perspective for her family, including her daughter’s graduation.
“She got her GED, never really went through that high school experience,” Bieler said. “And this was her big moment to graduate as a nurse. She succeeded and hardly got any acknowledgment. We let her know, ‘This is something no one can ever take away from you. You worked hard to achieve what you want.’”
Bieler believes the pandemic has strengthened the ideals of being a nurse, but also what it means to be a family.
“I think dinners are more family-oriented. Everybody’s not in so much of a hurry, because they have to come home,” she said.
She feels we’ve gone back to basics as a society, but in some ways, it’s a positive.
“Normally, your kids would be entertained by a TV or by something. But I think with everything going on, they're asking more questions. You're actually sitting down as a family. You're discussing things like you're supposed to. It’s getting back to the foundation.”