Neighbors of MN
“Working as a nurse Care Coordinator has been an honor of mine and I take pride in being able to support and help my patients. I have been fortunate to be able to complete health assessments over the phone during this past year of Covid pandemic. Most of the patients I work with are Karen, Karenni or Hmong refugees.
I worked hard to educate many of my refugee patients about quarantining, wearing masks, social distancing…
This summer, I worked hard to educate many of my refugee patients about quarantining, wearing masks, social distancing and getting tested if they were exposed to Covid-19. Due to working and carpooling together to turkey plants, there were high rates of Karen patients hospitalized with Covid infection.
Working as a health care provider during a pandemic has been stressful, more so back in April, May and June of last year. We didn’t have enough education about Covid-19 and my workload was higher than normal. That’s also when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, which started a whole new way of life for me. Since July, I have brought my dad to his weekly chemo appointments and sit with him at his nearly daily radiation appointments. At the end of the day I’m exhausted.
Trusting medical providers has been difficult for some of my refugee patients which resulted in some patients opting out of going to the clinic during these Covid times.
Trusting medical providers has been difficult for some of my refugee patients which resulted in some patients opting out of going to the clinic during these Covid times. This distrust was due to false rumors circulating in the community, and on social media telling them they may be forced to get a vaccine that they could die from. Some of my patients don’t know what to believe, so they will wait until they can’t tolerate their medical condition anymore and subsequently end up going to the ER.
My job is to help connect my patients to the right medical resources, and make sure they follow up with their doctor’s appointments so seeing my patients not following up on their medical conditions was heartbreaking at times.
To manage my stress, I try to avoid reading bad news, specifically what is going on in my homeland of Myanmar/Burma. Yet this is not avoidable, and I remain aware of how this news is also affecting my patients. Our clinic administrator has expressed great concern for our refugee community during these difficult times and encourages us all to be compassionate to our Karen and Karenni patients as they receive distressing news and information coming out of Myanmar/Burma.
I find that hiking in nature, camping at boundary waters, and staying active is my primary source of self-care.
I enjoy reading for pleasure to protect my mental and emotional wellbeing, but I find that hiking in nature, camping at boundary waters, and staying active is my primary source of self-care. In the summer I was able to hike more often with my niece and nephews which was wonderful. I truly enjoy taking in the beauty that nature offers and its calming effect. I find in the winter it can get quite cold, which is not always enjoyable, but I still find ways to make it fun such as going ice fishing my cousins.
I am now vaccinated which gives me a sense of relief as I feel it helps me protect others in the community as well as giving me a sense of hope that Covid-19 will eventually be manageable.
I am now vaccinated which gives me a sense of relief , (it give) me a sense of hope that Covid-19 will eventually be manageable.
I love talking to my patients, specifically my elderly patients. There are challenging days with my patients as some do not want to follow recommendations. The difficult cases where I am not able to influence people to make healthy choices can sometimes feel like failure. I also understand the importance of respecting a patient’s decision, and trust that I did the best I could.
I am blessed to have support from my care coordination team which includes a Social Worker and Community Health Workers. Our team has worked hard throughout this past year to address our patients’ ongoing Covid concerns and I appreciate that our team has had the continued opportunity to be a source of knowledge and compassion.”