Nancy Copus, RN: We are in this together
I always wanted to be a nurse and, in 1995, I became one.
My assignments have shifted over the decades, but today I'm testing patients for COVID-19 at Gundersen's drive-up site in Onalaska.
When we meet, they're alone in their car and I'm covered in protective materials. I know they're afraid of the unknown. I am, too. We are in this together.
Like our patients, I'm uncertain how COVID-19 will impact our future. Our lives. Our world. Whenever you're in healthcare or seeking healthcare, we are in this together.
COVID-19 gave me the opportunity to meet new colleagues. We're learning from one another and adjusting to the constant changes in unison. We'll continue to fight this because it's what we were called to do. We are in this together.
When I arrive home to my family, I worry whether I've done all I could to keep myself safe from the virus. I worry for them. We are in this together, too.
I've been in healthcare during the spread SARS, Ebola, AIDS and H1N1. I knew that someday there would be another one, but I didn't think I'd be fighting on the front line.
In seven months, I retire. But each day until then, I will care for patients the way I would want to be cared for.
We are in this together.
About the author
Nancy Copus' tenure with Gundersen spans four decades. She joined the Lab in 1980 and went on to earn her LPN and RN degrees. Her column on the COVID-19 response was published in the La Crosse Tribune on April 19, 2020.