Beyond My Comfort Zone: A New Nurse’s Take on COVID Care

Episode 6

Host: Jamie Davis, BA, RN, NRP (ret.)
Featured Guest: Emily Shands, BSN, RN

Jul 09, 2020

Topic(s): COVID-19, Career Development, Healthy Work Environment

Area(s) of Practice: Critical Care

Role(s): Manager, Educator, Staff

Length: 19 minutes

Added to Collection

In This Episode

Meet Emily Shands, a new critical care nurse who volunteered to work in her hospital’s COVID unit less than a year out of nursing school. Emily, an ICU nurse at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, shares how the opportunity to learn and contribute as part of a COVID care team outweighed her fears and pushed her to stretch beyond her “new nurse” comfort zone. She also talks about lessons learned, shifts in perspective, having more autonomy and gaining a deeper appreciation of teamwork.

“Do not be afraid to ask questions … Trust your gut instinct. I can’t tell you how many times that saved me or saved the patient.”

— Emily Shands, BSN, RN


03:09 —
A leap of faith: choosing the COVID unit
05:56 —
The hardest part of caring for patients with COVID
08:38 —
Adapting to evolving practices and protocols
10:08 —
Caring for each other while caring for our patients
15:23 —
Emily’s advice for new nurses entering the workforce

Host and Featured Guest

Jamie Davis, BA, RN, NRP (ret.)

Host Jamie Davis is a nurse, healthcare journalist and novelist. He began his healthcare career in emergency medicine, ultimately advancing to chief of EMS. Jamie continued his love of patient care by transitioning to nursing. Since 2005, he’s worked as a journalist covering nursing and emergency care topics, and also serves as adjunct faculty for nursing at Cecil College in Maryland.

Emily Shands, BSN, RN

Featured guest Emily Shands is a new critical care nurse working in the ICU at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a BSN in May 2019, followed by a four-month critical care fellowship at Mercy before practicing independently. Emily volunteered to work in her hospital’s COVID unit, viewing it as a unique opportunity to learn and contribute.

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