After a year of when the pandemic dictated most decisions, we can finally see the light at the end of a dark tunnel. A vaccine! It has been a long year of learning, adjustments, sacrifices, and much more. We have adjusted (mostly) to new “co-workers,”spouses, pets, and children. The nurses at Lantana continue to be leaders by providing vaccinations, support, education, and outreach to their local communities.

In this past year, we have faced waves of challenges. The traditional get togethers have moved online. The happy life moments such as the birth of grandchildren, weddings, baby showers, and all the other types of events where we celebrate life have been bittersweet. Perhaps these moments give us a chance to truly take a step back and appreciate the ability to come together.

The hardest challenge we have experienced has been in health care. Typical access to physicians, hospitals, or even visitors has been strained. As nurses, we are advocates for our loved ones when they are in hospital. The inability to comfort them and the disjointed communication with the care team within the hospital setting has been frustrating and in opposition to the core tenets of nursing. Today we are happy to see some improvement and continue to thank all those at the front lines.

Many of us are now vaccinated and continue to advocate and assist our friends and family in the vaccination process. Our very own Robin Williams, RN and Zabrina Gonzaga, RN have been volunteering at vaccine clinics in North Carolina to help their local communities by helping people navigate the process online, scheduling appointments, and administering the vaccine. You can read about their experiences here.

The long-term impact of this public health emergency on our physical and mental health is unknown, but we must acknowledge that it is real and will be long lasting. The transition to our new normal is a much slower process than we could have imagined at the beginning of this pandemic as we figure out how to be safe and protect others around us. Most likely this dance will continue well into 2022. Whatever the challenges, we will continue to provide guidance and supportwe’re nurses.