We are shining a light on our #healthcareheroes. Meet ChristianaCare HomeHealth nurse Melanie Sweeney-Smolka, LPN.
What inspires you to be a caregiver?
My patients inspire me. They are incredible. They each have their own story; none of them is the same. And, even though I am there to meet their needs, they give and teach me so much without even knowing. My co-workers also inspire me. They teach me so much. I have such an incredible team. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have learned from them.
How as your typical workday changed? What work are you doing or doing differently because of COVID-19?
That made me laugh. Just about everything. My area that I work in has changed; for a while my office changed, my team has changed, the nurses that I report to have changed. We have protocols in place for COVID-19. We do screenings on the phone when scheduling. We have a different protocol for ordering PPE supplies. We have more patients utilizing IVR.
What keeps you motivated during these uncertain times?
Good question. I feel a sense of duty to my community and to the health system. I feel it’s important to be selfless. I feel proud to work for ChristianaCare and I am so incredibly humbled by not only being a nurse but by being able to work throughout the pandemic. I took an oath and I think about that every day.
What advice do you have for your fellow caregivers?
We are experiencing uncharted territory not only in the medical field but in the world. We need to support each other and be flexible. It’s hard, it’s so hard. I feel it every day. Teamwork makes all the difference in the world.
What advice do you have for our community?
Please be patient. Trust me, we are trying, so hard. We are tired, scared and unsure sometimes; however, we are here! We are brave and courageous and we are trying so hard! Believe me.