Angela De Souza ’19 is a registered nurse at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis working in the emergency department. Her biggest challenge right now is staying calm in the face of a pandemic.
No one could have prepared her for what she is experiencing — even a top Kansas nursing program at Newman University. Learning how to overcome during a pandemic is something one can only do through experience.
What she did learn at Newman, she said, was kindness, empathy and hard work — skills she has already used countless times in her short career.
“From the time I started the (Newman nursing) program, I was told I would use critical thinking every single day I went to work. The professors were not kidding when they said nursing is a challenging field that will continue to inspire you to grow daily in your personal and professional life,” said De Souza.
She has become the person her patients, family and friends have to turned to for updates and protocols. She has had to learn to adjust and accept constant change in policies and procedures. And her overall goal through it all — stay calm, even though she knows that she herself could contract the disease while caring for those in need.
Her career perspective has also changed a little. Choosing nursing as a career, De Souza knew she wanted to be the support of someone during a period of uncertainty and doubt. She knew her calling was to care for others, nurture and help those in need. She never really thought about doing all that during a pandemic era.
Yet she is receiving that same kindness from others around her. And seeing the good during hard and even bad times is something she is thankful for.
“The biggest blessing has been the support that has flooded me and the people around me. From donations, thoughts and prayers, health care workers have been surrounded by trust and kindness.”
She said this experience has taught her how strong people are when they support each other. She has realized that overcoming a pandemic isn’t just about treating the disease, it is about treating people. And everyone can take part in that.
“We are stronger the more we support others. We are far more powerful than this virus, and if it doesn’t discriminate why should we.
“Every day when I walk into work I am simply thankful to have a job. I am thankful that the job I have is one that I willingly chose to have. One of the only things we do not get back in life is time. Everyone at some point this month has likely thought a bit deeper, prayed a bit harder and lived a bit more. We all have been given a little extra time to spend on ourselves and those around us. I just hope we do not waste this extra time we all have been given.”