• Chelsea Keenan

10 Questions with Kat — Nurse, Adventurer and Loving Dog Mom

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

Before the recent COVID restrictions were enforced, I was thankful to have Kat in my bubble. Kat lights up any room with her positive attitude and love for life. Also, she is one of the funniest and most beautiful (inside and out) people you will ever meet. She’ll be sure to have you laughing until your belly hurts.

Kat and I caught up over a glass of rosé a few weeks back, and I had the chance to ask her some questions. Specifically, what is it like being a nurse during this global pandemic. Have a read! I love being a nurse. It is what I have wanted to be since I was a little girl. Several of my aunts were nurses and I always looked up to them. It was inspiring to hear about my aunts helping people. I love helping people because making other people feel good makes me feel good. Emergency nursing has always been my passion since entering nursing school. It feeds my need for adrenaline. I’m not entirely sure anyone fully knows what they are getting into when they enter Emergency medicine until you are knee deep in it. There are other easier paths I could have taken but I would never feel the same satisfaction and gratification that I get in Emergency medicine.

Emergency nursing always has its risks as we are the front line in the hospital and encounter the high majority of patients that are admitted. High in this case means we encounter every patient with COVID that comes through the hospital doors. To say that isn’t nerve wracking would be a lie. Although we are all well trained and are very lucky to be working in one of the best hospitals in Canada where we have the luxuries of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we are all still human and we make mistakes.

During these times we are acutely aware that something as simple as not taking your mask off correctly or not washing your hands effectively could mean acquiring this deadly virus.

For me, I have severe asthma which puts me at an even higher risk of complications with the virus. I find it very interesting to work in this time because although we are all very scared and anxious, my colleagues show up every day with brave faces and do the work that we were meant to be doing - to help our community, our people. Our work right now feels backwards: our ways of doing things has changed but our goals are still the same. It’s really cool to see how adaptable we all are. In Emergency, we see firsthand how well society has adapted by our volumes. People are listening and only coming in when they are truly sick. 10 questions with Kat:

1. Name a favourite… Food: carbs... all carbs (realized this after being on the Keto diet - UGH!) Hobby: hiking, running, dog walking lol (is that a hobby?) Favourite place you’ve traveled to: Guatemala 2. Who is someone you admire? I admire all of my friends and family - each for their own individual reasons. The people I hold closest are the ones I look up to the most. 3. Describe your typical morning routine. My COVID routine: wake up, brush my teeth, make a smoothie and then leave for work or a dog walk. No makeup and a high pony every day! 4. What problem in the world would you like to solve? COVID-19! 5. How do you practice mindfulness / what strategies do you have for helping your emotional well-being? Get outside every day. 6. I am grateful for... The health of my family, friends, and of course, my own. 7. How do you let constructive feedback IN while keeping criticism that prevents you from being brave OUT? I think age has really impacted the way I accept feedback and I think this mostly has to do with knowing and being comfortable with myself. Knowing that I am not perfect, wanting to grow for the better, being okay with not always being comfortable, and thinking about the feedback that I have been given. I also think it’s important to look at who is giving you feedback. People that care about your success will give feedback that they believe will benefit you. 8. What brings you Joy?

Sullivan (my golden retriever - pictured here)

9. What are you reading? Listening? And/or watching right now? Eek.. I wish I could say I was reading something other than trashy magazines and watching too much Netflix. 10. Your word for 2020 is... Strength and Community (that’s two.. but 2020 has two twenties sooooo..)

I'd like to extend a large THANK YOU to Kat and all the other health care professionals during this pandemic. A reminder to us all, to stay home, wear a mask and reach out to friends and family through telephone/virtual communication. Let's be kind to one another - we will get through this.

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