Nurses reflect on pandemic years as public health emergency ends

The federal government will declare the end of the Public Health Emergency for Covid-19.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 5:14 AM EDT|Updated: May. 10, 2023 at 8:09 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The federal government on Thursday will declare the end of the public health emergency for COVID-19. Healthcare workers have been heroes during this time, with nurses often on the front lines.

Mallory Weaver has worked as a registered nurse at Trident Medical Center for eight years. She says she doesn’t know if the pandemic will ever truly be over in the minds of nurses. Instead, it’s something they will carry in their hearts and souls for a long time.

“It’s really changed the aspect of working on the floor as a unit,” Weaver said. “I feel like more than ever we work as a team better than we ever have.”

Weaver says it’s up to them to guide newer nurses, especially those who went to school during the pandemic and missed out on some hands-on experiences.

“Even when we teach our new nurses now, I feel like we are really trying to set a goal of, it’s not that bad, like come on we’ll help you,” Weaver said. “We’re gonna do it as a team. You’re not alone. You’ll always have someone behind you, pretty much.”

For new nurses like Forrest Helm who went to nursing school during the pandemic, it was difficult getting put into a clinical setting since she didn’t get to go into the hospital very much during covid.

But she felt supported by her team, and now caring for patients feels like “second nature.” She’s now worked as a nurse for about eight months at Trident. She says it’s something she felt called to do.

“Sometimes it’s not easy,” Helm said. “We see some very tough things but you always gotta put a brave face on and do what’s best for the patient to keep them safe and healthy. Sometimes, it’s just a challenge especially when you’re so busy, but everybody deserves patient care that’s safe and efficient.”

National Nurses Week is recognized each year from May 6 to May 12.