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What is a nurse?

By Victoria Wiggin


Relentlessly devoted. Tenaciously motivated. Haven’t slept in a week.


Oh, you mean a nurse?


Balancing kids and night shift and continuing education and being yelled at and holding the hand of our dying patient and c. diff and assignments that are illegal in some states.


Yup, that’s us.


And yet, we stay. Well, a lot of us do.


At this point, when I see the countless friends of mine who have left the bedside, my sentiment is often “good for you.” And I mean that genuinely. Nursing right now is a nightmare.


Because of COVID-19 and its effects on healthcare, staffing, and the morbidity of the average patient assignment, nurses are facing intolerable working conditions - some of which puts our licenses at risk. Some are privileged enough to be able to quit and rely on the income of another, but for many, we’re stuck between Scylla and Charybdis.


The decision to either leave the unduly taxing work environment and no longer have an income or stay at a job that has routinely required us to violate our consciences and ethics for a paycheck is no easy decision.

It took me a while, but I believe this ship can be turned around.


There is no question that nursing is one of the most taxing occupations - even in the best of times - however, I believe it can be better.


The Achilles’ heel of nurses is that we don’t speak up for ourselves. We’ll go to war for our patients and their wellbeing, but when it comes to our own wellbeing, we’ll sacrifice our health, our time, and our reputations if it means our patients will have the best care.


And when we reach that point of burnout because we never took care of ourselves, we slip away from the bedside - almost unnoticed by administration.

Like ships passing in the night, it’s usually a silent exit.


Until now.


People are noticing. Hospital administration is noticing. Patients are noticing. We at Cortex-GOLD have noticed. And we’re going to do something about it.


Our vision for Cortex-GOLD is that nurses are not left feeling like they either have to quit or stay and become unrecognizable to themselves.


Cortex-GOLD will become largely instrumental in restoring the therapeutic environment necessary for healing and a collaborative work environment. We want to restore your confidence in the power you have over your own person and workspace.


The mission of “helping people” - that everyone in healthcare has - has become convoluted, and we want to restore clarity.


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