ICU intern describes first year in medical field, pandemic struggles

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nikita Nand, 28, loves to dance and travel. She also has a passion for medicine, and is working in the ICU at Unity Hospital on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“This is a different Christmas for us,” she said.

Nand’s career is just beginning – all during a pandemic. Seven months ago, her residency started in a time when so much was unknown.

“We weren’t trained or prepared for this, so there was that fear of the unknown we don’t know what we’re going to face,” she said.

The next 3 years will be crucial for applying what she learned in medical school, and improving skills. But from time to time – it’s scary. Especially with the pandemic is in it’s second surge.

“We are at full capacity, dealing with patients essentially treating them in hallways, I personally have never seen that before,” she said.

Nand says it’s challenging that the time she can spend with a patient and their family is so limited.

“Because of the exposure you want to limit and everything at risk,” she said. “I used to really enjoy spending time with patients and families, not we’re not able to do so.”

For now, Nand says one of the biggest lessons she’s learning is actually not medical. It has to do with self-care, and finding ways to recharge after a hard day’s work.

“You’re trying to prove yourself, you’re trying do your best, so it does get stressful when you come home at the end of the day, all you want to do is take a break from everything, get enough sleep,” she said. “I am definitely struggling with that, self care, taking care of myself, apartment, food and everything… it’s definitely hard in the first year.”

Her advice to any aspiring doctors out there?

“If you really enjoy what you’re doing everything falls into place, be it a pandemic, or be it something you were not prepared to do, if you enjoy doing what you’re doing, get in it,” she said. “That’s one of the things that keeps me doing it every day. I enjoy being there, there’s a sense of satisfaction being able to treat patients especially in these times when it matters the most,” she said.

Nand says after 3 years of residency she plans to apply for a fellowship in cardiology, and ultimately become a cardiologist. She also makes time to dance.

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