I’m choosing to challenge myself: By advocating to the voiceless in healthcare
*My questions are italicized.
Badé Obasa: Happy International Women’s Day boo! One thing I cherish about our friendship is that we take time to celebrate each other every day, no matter how big or small. It’s funny how you came to surprise me at work today 😂. Thank you so much for always challenging me to be better. Now, talking about work. You have been working in the healthcare field for about 8 years. Currently, you are a Registered Nurse at the Ottawa Hospital. What was your motivation in choosing this career path?
Sheena Pomaah: That’s right! Same to you Bade Badz. Honestly, I have a genuine passion for anything related to health. Anything that had to do with the human anatomy fascinated me. I also love to help people, especially those who are vulnerable.
Badé Obasa: That’s kind of you. Not everyone has the heart to care for people in this capacity. Can you walk us through what a typical work day in the hospital looks like?
Sheena Pomaah: First thing I do is, look through my patient’s chart so I can plan my day accordingly. Some patients require more care than others due to the level of comorbidity and dependency. Then, I introduce myself to all my patients and I start my day with assessing them based on their medical and personal needs. I provide and assist with personal hygiene care (bath, pericare and so on). Some need to be fed as well, so I find time to feed them each meal. If I have a bit of time, I would go for walks with them to promote and enhance their mobility. Throughout the day, I would chart as I get things done.
Never have I: Hitchhiked 🤷🏾♀️
Badé Obasa: I understand that your core role centres on providing (basic) care to patients, which can sometimes be rewarding and challenging. However, I’m curious to know how you balance your work, personal life and health in-between. Do you create time for self-care? If yes, what activities do you engage in to ensure you nurture your own health while taking care of others. If not, what areas do you have challenges?
Sheena Pomaah: I try my best to be intentional about self care now by slowing down on the amount of hours I work a week. You know I used to work ridiculous hours mahn. I try to take at least 2 days off to go to the spa. Some times go on a mini getaway or literally just stay home and catch up on shows/movies and sermons. I try to squeeze time to sleep as well, girl you know I’m working on it!! My challenge is really taking time off to relax my mind, body, soul and spirit. Another challenge is to not bring home the emotional stress of my day but to really leave whatever that's physical, emotional or mental at work.
Badé Obasa: Talking about stress. What are the internal or external indicators that tell you are stressed?
Sheena Pomaah: Internally, I would get severe headaches and nausea. Sometimes I'd get really bad anxiety depending on how intense my shift was. My mood would just be really down and low. I would just want to be alone and be where it's peaceful and quiet. External signs are weight loss. I can lose weight pretty quickly unintentionally.
Badé Obasa: Girl you are not alone lol. When you are not working, what do you do for fun?
Sheena Pomaah: Honnneessttlllyyyy nursing in general really does occupy your time inside and outside of work. This year, I am really trying to be intentional on finding an activity to do to create that balance. I do love to travel so I work to pretty much go on vacation amongst other stuff.
Badé Obasa: Vacations are a bit restricted now with various preventative measures been put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 like the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. A lot of people are worried about the safety of this vaccine. As an essential frontline worker, was the vaccine mandatory? Have you taken it? If yes, what symptoms have you shown? If no, why not?
Sheena Pomaah: First, the vaccine is not mandatory, just like the flu shot is not mandatory. No one can ever do or force anything upon a person. The fact is, I recently just got the vaccine. Ah my friend! I had to plead the blood of Jesus before they injected that thing in me. I held the whole entire syringe 🤣. My arm was sore for 2 days. Same type of soreness I felt taking the flu shot.
Badé Obasa: You are hilarious. Thank you for sharing bits from your journey Sheena. Thank you (and other healthcare workers) for all the work you’ve contributed in caring for various lives in the hospital, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Before you go, what shows are you watching currently?
Sheena Pomaah: I appreciate that! Thank you for having me here. You see, I have this thing where I start something and it takes me forever to finish. Definitely catching up on “This is Us” and “Grey’s Anatomy”. New show I started is “Bridgeton”.
As we celebrate international women’s day, I’m choosing to reflect on at least 3 things. Firstly, a reminder to celebrate yourself for all you do and the asset you are becoming on your journey. I have a wins tracker where I track my wins on a daily basis - no matter how small. Even if I just stretched and it made me feel better, that is a win to me. Secondly, a reminder for us to identify and find (thoughtful) ways to strengthen women in our lives that have dared us to be and do better. We need each other. Thirdly, a reminder for us women to challenge ourselves to be better in how we treat and speak to each other on a day-to-day basis. There’s more but it starts from within. I believe when we stand together, it’s easier to fight together to “challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes, and help forge a more inclusive world”. Happy Women’s day to you reading this, I celebrate you!