Ob/Gyn Dispatches During COVID-19: B. Isabel Bogdan, DNP

Each day during the COVID-19 crisis, we'll share an update from a member of our team in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Today's note is from B. Isabel Bogdan, DNP, nurse practitioner specializing in perinatal care in the Department of Ob/Gyn at NYP/CUIMC.

B. Isabel Bogdan, DNP
B. Isabel Bogdan, DNP

Early in 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that 2020 would be the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. I welcomed 2020 as the grandest year for the nursing profession, year of nursing innovation, and a time to address the international nursing shortage. Most importantly, a moment in the spotlight to look at how far we have excelled and what we can do better. Ironically, the year of the Nurse and COVID-19 coincided together.

I am originally from the Southwest region of the United States, and at a very young age, I knew in my heart that I would be a nurse. In 1994 I was accepted into one of our country's first health-focused magnet high schools. It was there that I discovered my life purpose and vocation. During clinical rotations, there was one underlying theme that I would fall in love with, and that was teamwork. With strength in my passion, I was on the fast track to launch my career. I knew then that I would specialize in women's health, with the intention to provide access to quality care and surround myself with phenomenal experts in the field.

In 2007, I relocated to NYC and was a pioneer for nurse practitioners on our Labor and Delivery, Antepartum, and Postpartum units. I did my research and where I wanted to be was at a place where I would love doing what I do best, among the best. In 2011, I obtained my Doctorate in Nursing from Columbia University, and since have had the chance to grow here and build.

Even in my wildest imagination, dealing with a pandemic was not part of my daily routine, nor in my plan for the future. This was not how I intended to celebrate the year of the nurse. But, the lessons learned have been invaluable, and I am grateful to have been right here, right now, with all of my colleagues. I'm grateful to stand tall and secure while we weather the storm, because what I have witnessed the past eight weeks is about the common denominators that have brought us together. This pandemic has been about courage, connection, and meaning.

Courage presented itself as we fearlessly confronted the challenges presented to us by COVID-19 and made the necessary decisions to keep ourselves and those around us safe. Courage to take care of our families and keep them away from harm's reach. Courage comes from the heart, and it speaks and acts. We see courage at work when we all come together, as one, to conquer.

Connection manifested as we moved in unison to keep our department going for each other and our patients. We discovered new ways to remove the distance and bring our community closer by leveraging technology. We implemented new systems and discussed different ways to solve problems. We learned to work with efficiency and communicated our needs more effectively. It is this reliable connection that binds us and makes us one. It allows us to keep feeling, touching, and give that virtual kleenex to patients when they need it most.

Meaning quickly became clear. There was a newfound meaning behind the COVID-19 pandemic, and there was solidarity among all of us. This meaning gives perspective to the goals we set for our future. Purpose, to move forward with more considerable momentum, to be better, to build stronger and joyfully together. To continue doing what we do best, among the best. As the word nurse is derived from the Latin word, nutrir, so we will nourish each other, growing courage, maintaining secure and robust connections, and keeping in mind that 2020 has definitely been the year of the nurse.

B. Isabel Bogdan, DNP