JAMESON GRAHAM, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY ’19, BLACK ROCK COUNTRY CLUB

WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING?

“I am currently a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital working specifically in the Lunder Building, assigned to the Neurology Unit. I started in November of 2019 and after the traditional three month ‘orientation’ where I shadow a nurse, I started normal full-time schedule in February of 2020.”

HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED YOUR DAILY LIFE IN THE HOSPITAL?

“Frankly, starting when I did was extremely nerve-wracking as the entire hospital faced drastic changes mere weeks after I began my routine. The floors above and below me were assigned to become COVID ICU, and we handled the overflow from the traditional patients those floors would tend to. In all honesty, even as healthcare workers we were nervous and unsure what the virus was or how safe we were, and initially we felt the lack of necessary tests and PPE. It took a few weeks for proper guidelines and consistent PPE to be available, and those weeks were uneasy and somewhat chaotic around the hospital. At first, many of my normal coworkers were assigned to ‘ float’ to other floors to manage the COVID patients, leaving our normal team a bit short staffed. Just as we were getting used to the ‘new normal’ on our floor, we learned we would need to be prepared for our floor to become an ICU ahead of the second spike during the holiday season, which meant we needed ICU training. The time from November through January was intense, and out of an abundance of caution I rarely saw family or friends; my days were, more or less, head to the hospital and then head home.”

HAS THE LAST YEAR CHANGED YOUR OUTLOOK ON WORKING IN THE HEALTHCARE FIELD?

“Despite the difficulties, sadness and struggles over the last year, I love my job and I am so happy to be in a position to help others daily. I have always wanted to work in healthcare, and while it has been difficult, I feel I am performing my calling on a daily basis. I know unequivocally that without my Ouimet Scholarship, I would not have dreamed of attending Quinnipiac and likely would not be where I am today. Thank you for all you’ve done for me!”

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