‘It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions’: YXE Underground on nursing challenges during the pandemic


For the past 22 years, Registered Nurse Lana Mayerle has cared for residents at Sherbrooke Community Centre. She’s seen a lot in her career from her, but she admits nothing from her prepared her for nursing in a pandemic.

“I think the first word that comes to mind when I think of the past two years is challenging,” she explained to YXE Underground’s Eric Anderson. “It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions. In the beginning, we didn’t know how long this would last.”

Mayerle is one of three Saskatoon nurses featured in a new episode of the YXE Underground podcast. The episode looks back at the challenges and rewards of nursing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of Mayerle’s highlights of the pandemic was the day the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Sherbrooke, in early 2021. She says the vaccine lifted the spirits of the residents and her colleagues.

“A bunch of us nurses stayed late so that everyone could have the vaccine. It felt like hopefulness all throughout the building.”

Jenna Isley was a third-year nursing student when the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in Saskatchewan. The pandemic certainly changed how Isley finished her nursing degree, as her classes were completed online. Even with those added challenges, at no point did she think twice about becoming a nurse.

Isley is now working in maternal services at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, and is thankful to be helping others.

“This was something I was meant to do,” she says. “Obviously, the pandemic has added an extra challenge, but I am so grateful for my role as a nurse.”

One of the challenges Jamie Coates has experienced during the pandemic revolves around self-care.

Coates is a nurse in the surgery unit at Saskatoon City Hospital. For the past 20 years, he’s cared for people from all occupations, but he has learned a valuable lesson when it comes to caring for one’s self during the pandemic.

“I think sometimes as nurses we do a terrible job looking after ourselves,” Coates explains in the episode. “We’re so used to putting that energy outwards that taking care of ourselves is secondary or we view it as a selfish activity. I’m having to re-evaluate that, and the pandemic has sort of amplified that. You really have to be aware of looking after yourself because you can’t care for others if you can’t care for yourself.”

To listen to this episode, and all previous episodes, visit yxeunderground.com

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