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ON THE FRONTLINE: Meet Nurse Lourieann LaRose

ON THE FRONTLINE: Meet Nurse Lourieann LaRose

On her long ride home, Lourieann LaRose would glance at the crowds on seawalls and other liming spots, some without masks, others, no sense of personal space. It would be these same persons who put her at risk every day and keep her away from her children. These are the same people she took an oath to care for no matter the circumstances.

28-year-old Lourieann La Rose, a registered nurse is attached to the maternity COVID Unit. That unit is divided into two sections. One with health care workers caring for expecting mothers travel from outlying regions to Georgetown who fall under the category of ‘suspected COVID cases’ while the other section caters for mothers who have already tested positive.

A day in the life of Nurse LaRose

LaRose starts her days early… she along with other health care workers in that unit work 12-hour shifts. She leaves home to get to work at 7:00 hrs and would be back home at nights.

“Usually I have to wake up early, I got to prepare, I don’t have anybody to look after my kids, so I have to prepare their meals” She told BIG Smith News Watch.

Being away from her two children for such long hours, brings with it emotional toils for LaRose but she has had to maintain a strong mental health to cope and to also work under strenuous circumstances. Once she gets to work, she is on the go.

“When I get in, I get my equipment, dawn my PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and just ensure I prepare myself mentally. Once you enter the unit, you are not coming out until your shift is finished” the frontline worker declared.

LaRose said at first the task was a little daunting she explained, “it was very hard, you heard about the COVID for the first time and like everyone else I was very scared,” she explained, “I would go home to my kids, afraid to show affection because I was concerned for their protection,” she recalled.

She said at times the unit is mixed with joy and pain given the emotions which accompany motherhood coupled with a clash of fear during these times but for nurse LaRose, she has adopted a position of ensuring expecting mothers feel safe and loved.

“With isolation, it takes a mental toll on these women, so I try to make my interaction as happy as possible. I sing, I try to make it fun” she reminisced as she giggled and quipped.

Mothers who would have tested positive for COVID 19 do not get to interact with their new-borns instantly.

“If they deliver in the unit, we do show them their babies, however, their babies are not allowed with them, per se, the babies have their own unit,” LaRose explained, it is scenarios like these that prompt her to ensure the mothers are comforted.

The 28-year-old said she is eager to get home at nights. Before she gets in, she takes about three showers at the hospital, this is all part of the sanitation routine. Once she gets home, LaRose is obviously tired but her job as a mother continues… she ensures her children get dinner, their baths and spends whatever little time she can with them.

Realising her dreams

A teenager mom she was. In our conversation, LaRose related how fondly she remembers pondering her next step as a young mother and what she wanted out of life. She applied to the nursing programme in 2010 where she spent four years qualifying herself to become a registered nurse.

At the time we reached out to Nurse LaRose for this interview, she was preparing for examinations which if all goes well, could see her successfully completing the Midwifery post-basic training programme.

Multitasking by attending to her young daughter and speaking with this publication LaRose had this to say.

I just didn’t want to be an ordinary nurse, I always thought that I would pursue midwifery; that is something I wanted to do since I joined nursing.  I always believe a nurse is not complete until she did midwifery,” Stated LaRose.

She continues by stating she always wanted to know how she would have responded if someone went into labour. “I feel accomplished,” Nurse LaRose said while pointing out she plans to pursue a degree in public health soon after.

ON THE FRONTLINE: Meet Nurse Lourieann LaRose
Fully dressed her in PPE, Nurse LaRose prepares for a full day of work.

The mother feels that her work during this period has boosted her mentally for any challenges that lie ahead, she recalled joining the maternity unit in 2019, when she started her midwifery course, that period had proven to be less dramatic compared to the past few months.

Nurse LaRose said she imagined herself as a patient and would want the best health care there is.

“I put on my big girl socks and got to work, I would have wanted people to be there for me,” she said, “I said to myself if I had tested positive for COVID 19, I would want the best health care, I would want nurses to look after me,” the nurse said.

It is that simple wish that drives her to care for others.