Alumna delivers compassionate care to COVID-19 patients
As the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic persists, Cathleen Nesheiwat, of Streamwood, remains steadfast in her duties as a nurse on the medical pulmonary floor at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. She and a group of mostly veteran nurses incorporate compassion into their training to provide the first line of care for patients affected by the virus.
“The main reason the nursing profession called out to me is because of my genuine love for people,” Nesheiwat said. She graduated from Elgin Community College in 2015 with an associate degree in nursing. “I chose this nursing program because it's the same college that my family attended, and it has a reputation for being one of the best programs in the state.”
Nesheiwat believes her training prepared her to stay calm and work with the resources she has—a valuable trait when caring for patients who show symptoms of COVID-19, or have tested positive. “My instructors imparted a sense of responsibility and calm in the face of adversity and emphasized not to lose sight of who the patient is,” she said.
Sarah Urban, PhD, RN, CNE, director of the nursing program, echoed the importance of training. “As health care changes so rapidly in response to COVID-19 and other emerging diseases, students and nurses must learn and adapt their practices to care for patients safely,” she said. “ECC's nursing curriculum prepares students with clinical judgment to apply key nursing concepts in a variety of new situations.”
While some do eventually need further care, the goal is to get patients back to health so they can return home. For Nesheiwat, that’s the best part. “Seeing a patient recover and safely go home is just beyond a joy for us,” she said.
This moment has taught Nesheiwat to keep plowing straight forward. “You don’t just treat the illness, you have to see the whole person,” she said. “As long as I don’t lose sight of what I was taught in my training and who the patient is, I can keep going.”
Read the entire Fall 2020 issue of IMPACT online.