Katie Loggins is a Registered Nurse born and raised in Santa Cruz California. She received her Masters in Nursing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist from San Francisco State University in 2010. She currently works at Dominican Hospital. Although her main position has been working as a Medical/Surgical nurse, in March 2020 the world was hit by the Covid-19 Pandemic and her position immediately transformed into being a full-time Covid Nurse. Additionally, Katie is married and is a full-time mom. She is tackling distance learning daily with her 6 year old son when not at the Hospital. Read on to learn more from Katie…
What has it been like to be a nurse during COVID?
When I was 15 years old my father died suddenly of a heart attack. That day I learned many hard lessons. One, was that life may be short but more so, that life is unpredictable. There will be many things that happen in this lifetime that will blindside me, so I can choose to either sit back and feel like a victim (be a passive participant in life) or I can choose to find the lesson and power within it and use that for the greater good. I made a choice back then and it is a choice I make everyday, I will always be an active-participant in my life, not a passive one.
When the Covid-19 Pandemic hit, I recognized immediately that this was going to be a profound situation where I could feel victimized or I could feel empowered. I chose the later. Yes, I was worried about this silent and invisible killer and how it may affect me, my friends, my coworkers and my family (frankly, I still worry about that.) yet, at the same time I wanted to face it head on. I immediately offered to care for the Covid patients. I offered to be trained as a Covid Supervisor for my unit and was specifically educated on the proper use of our current PPE. I then trained physicians and coworkers on best practices. Additionally, I also attended meetings and helped to create a video for the physicians. I volunteered in other areas of the hospital as well.
Patients, families and coworkers fear this virus. If I could contribute to educating people while bringing a sense of relief, comfort, compassion I wanted to do it. This isn’t to say that I could just put my worries aside. For the first time in my nursing career, I found it very hard to compartmentalize my feelings from my job. I have shared many tears with patients and coworkers, and every day I leave work and pray that that isn’t the day I bring the virus home to my family. Yet choosing to be an active-participant instead of a victim to this pandemic has allowed me to walk proudly forward with empowerment. I know that I am contributing to making things just a little bit better.
Is there a mantra you tell yourself in dark times?
The mantra I use the most every day is the Hawaiian Prayer for Forgiveness:
(IT GOES): I’M SORRY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME, THANK YOU, I LOVE YOU.
This chant makes me feel lighter and more compassionate towards myself and towards others. It truly helps me to restore my balance, self-love and forgiveness for myself and for others.
Why is exercise important to you?
Exercise, namely Surfing, is my true physical outlet that brings me the balance of mind, physical body and emotion. The brisk refreshing water wakes me up, the salt on my skin is nature’s medicine, the requirement to focus only on the unpredictable wave and force of water that approaches me keeps me present in moment, the drop and the ride is the rush and sense of peace I crave, and the joy that I feel at the end is a feeling of overwhelming happiness. Surfing is my medicine.
What are some current goals you are working towards?
My biggest goal in life is to ensure I provide my children with the love and the environment where they can become who they truly are. In addition to family goals, I have a deep passion for helping people truly connect with their worth. A couple years ago I started a company called Proud Nurses Coalition. It is founded on my vision of providing people with constant reminders of the helpers in this world, and in doing so, nurturing a feeling of hope and a sense of community. Proud Nurses Coalition serves as a catalyst for nurses to see their worth, feel validated and be proud of their contribution.
Thanks Katie for sharing a piece of your story and for all your hard work at Dignity Health!