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McKenna Mase '20 BSN

Female nursing student wearing face mask

Patient Care Associate, Pediatric Medicine Cardiac Floor

Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven CT

May 12, 2020

My COVID story jump started my career as a nurse. I have been part of the Yale New Haven Nurse Internship Program since June 2019, and have been working as a patient care associate during the school year on the Pediatric Medicine/Cardiac floor.

At the start of the pandemic, the hospital asked casual employees not to report to work in order to limit exposure. I was truly feeling nurse’s guilt as I was not on the frontlines with my team, but I knew my focus was to finish my last month of nursing school.

Last week, my unit was short staffed and asked if I would come in to help. I normally work on the pediatric floor, but due to the pandemic, it became an adult COVID floor. My Villanova training prepared me to remain calm, ask the right questions, think critically and adapt quickly, all while showing compassion to my patients.

The experience was definitely challenging as I had never cared for COVID patients before. The nurses on my unit had been taking care of COVID patients for an entire month, so I had to adapt very quickly, but I was not afraid to ask questions when I needed help. I am grateful for the experience I had because it humbled me to work alongside these nurses who sacrificed so much to care for these patients. They are truly superheroes!

Inspired to share your COVID-19 story?

We welcome submissions from Villanova Nurses about their experience during COVID-19. Please email with your photo, name, credentials, degree/year, role and employer/location along with a brief story of your experience, your reflections on nursing and/or how your Villanova Nursing education prepared you for this pandemic.

Your submission may be used on this page and potentially on social media or in related College communication. Thank you!