Sometimes it can get extremely emotional and physically draining, seeing our sick patients and our tired staff. Our patients have become our family, especially if their family cannot be here in the hospital with them. The toll of the situation can sometimes be hard to manage. I wasn’t taking care of myself. A fast, pounding heart rate and blurry vision were some of the symptoms that hit me while I was driving to work. I was able to get help and see a doctor, who diagnosed my anxiety attack and prescribed rest and fluids. I was also dehydrated. Now I’m taking care of myself first — because if we get sick who will take care of our patients?
Sherry Lopez, Unit secretary and contract specialist, UNITE HERE Local 5 (Hawaii)