Apr 30, 2020 | Around Town
This is a crazy and uncertain time we are living in these days. Kids are out of school, many of us are working from home, or even worse have lost our jobs. However, there are others that have had no choice but to continue to go to work and treat infected patients or general patients needing to seek medical treatment. South Wake Raleigh Moms has decided to launch a new series highlighting local health heroes. We believe it’s a critical time to spotlight those that are fighting on the front line of COVID-19 each and every day, continuing to provide treatment and medical needs to those that need it most. Our first Raleigh Health Heroes Spotlight is on Jennifer Dye, local mom of six and a full-time nurse in Apex. Jennifer, from all of us in the community – thank you for all that you do.
Can you give us a bit of background on you and the role you play in healthcare today?
I am a mom of six and a full-time nurse. I work in both Labor and Delivery and the Emergency Department. My full-time position is in Labor and Delivery. I also work a part-time position in the Emergency Department, which was my full-time position for the first 12 years of my career. I love my patients and the fact that I am able to be a part of one of the most important days of their lives. It is an extremely rewarding career. I still choose to work in the Emergency Department because ER nursing is a very specific set of skills that I would like to maintain and continues to benefit my role in Labor and Delivery.
What has your day-to-day been like these past few weeks?
My days these past few weeks have been different in many ways. The level of stress at our hospital has increased significantly and we are all quite nervous about what this virus will mean for us and our families. We try to maintain as much normalcy as possible in our unit, but it isn’t easy when we are all wearing masks and trying our best to protect ourselves, one another, and our patients. It is scary to come home from work not knowing if someone I took care of or encountered that day made me contagious or if I am putting my family at risk each time I come home from work. My husband also works in critical care medicine and we worry about being exposed every day and what that could potentially mean for us and our family.
What has been the most inspirational moment for you in all of this?
The most inspirational moment for me has been watching everyone come together to support one another, especially the healthcare workers and essential workers in our community. Some of the nurses I work with are excellent crafters. A few nurses gathered donations of money and supplies and worked together with other crafters in the community to make us masks. They ended up making over 300 masks for us all to use at no cost. A few of the neighbors in my community messaged me and offered to make headbands with sewed on buttons to hold our mask loops and another made crocheted “mask mates” with buttons to hold our masks to alleviate the pressure on our ears. Knowing that everyone wants to help and do something to support our community is such an uplifting feeling. I especially love seeing the photos on Facebook from the ER doctors that I work with who come home to decorated driveways and front yards thanking them for what they do. It instills hope and strength that we will get through this together.
What is most important for our community to know about COVID-19?
I can’t reinforce enough the importance of staying home and social distancing. That is our best defense against this virus right now. None of us are immune and there is only limited information about the virus at this point. By social distancing and only going out to the store when necessary, you are doing your part in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
If we want to get involved and help, where can we donate our time and money?
So many people are affected by this virus so there are many opportunities to help. One of my personal concerns is how this lock-down is affecting people without food and regular income. Helping out the children and families who were dependent on school meals by donating groceries or money for groceries is a great way to help out our community. Meals on Wheels is another way to donate your time to help senior citizens in need of food.
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Kirsten Pierce, certified registered nurse anesthetist, mother to two amazing children, wife of an incredible husband and dog-mom of two fur babies, a Great Dane named Finnegan and a Lab mix named Layla. Besides her role of ‘super mom,’ Kirsten has now added the...