Nursing Side Gigs: Online Studies and Focus Groups

Nursing Side Gigs: Online Studies and Focus Groups

This is part of a monthly series about side gigs—nurses with interesting side jobs or hobbies. This month, we spotlight a nurse who participates in online studies and focus groups.


As his full-time job, Charles Prendergast, BSN, RN, works as a registered nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. But in his spare time, he has a side gig, participating in online studies and focus groups.

We asked him about his part-time work so that other nurses can learn about it too.

How did you get interested in doing online studies and focus groups? When you do an online study, what exactly does that involve? With a focus group, same thing.

I have been participating in online studies and focus groups for five years. I became interested in online studies and focus groups when a nurse colleague of mine introduced me to Focus Insite, and I started following them on their social media platforms.  

When I am chosen to do an online study, I am contacted through email with very detailed, but clear, instructions on how the study will be performed. Once I receive and reply to the initial email, the next steps are given to me on how a study will be carried out.

Online studies are very reliable and easy to do because they are done at your convenience at home.

With a focus group, they start with a similar email and are followed up with a time that you choose and a date that works for you! The locations are convenient and are in or close to metropolitan areas. Once a date and time are agreed upon, I travel to the location and complete the survey.  

How often can you participate in online studies and/or focus groups? How much time does each tend to take up? For focus groups, are they being done virtually right now?   

I can participate in multiple online studies and focus groups in a year. How many studies I participate in depends upon if you fit the criteria the surveyor is looking for. This past year I have participated in about 10 studies and have made a considerable profit. Each study takes roughly one hour to complete. Some studies are two-day surveys and usually are less than two hours total. Some studies are being done at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic and they are very easy to do! All supplies are shipped to your home and all you need is your computer to hook up the camera they supply and a video Zoom call takes place walking you through each step.  

What types of surveys do you do? Can you give me a ballpark idea of what they’re about? What kinds of topics they cover?  

Primarily, I complete medical studies. Qualitative market research is my focus. They range from numerous topics from injection devices, nursing concepts and ideas, to new drugs on the market. Comparing new products to the medical field to products in use now is a fun and easy way to make money for your own opinion! 

If nurses are interested in getting involved in this kind of work, what would you suggest they do? What kind of fee can they expect to make for each survey or focus group?    

If you are interested in getting involved with focus groups and surveys I would suggest following @focus_insite and @getpaidmedical on Instagram and Facebook. Go to their web page www.focusinsite.com and sign up to part of their mailing list to hear about new and innovative market research studies. Once you sign up for their mailing list and complete your profile, they will reach out to you via email and/or phone call. Compensation is very generous for these surveys and each study pays roughly $250+ for an hour’s worth of your time. They will also compensate you for parking costs if needed.  

Why do you enjoy doing online surveys/focus groups? What do you get out of it beside the money?  

Besides earning some serious cash, I enjoy participating in market research studies because it keeps me up-to-date on the latest new equipment and nursing concepts that will be coming to our field. Being able to give you opinion on how a product looks, feels, and performs before it is distributed to the market is incredible, and you can say you had a lasting impact on products that you and your colleagues will use every day.  

Lastly, I would like to recognize Focus Insite Group for giving me an opportunity to express my ideas and opinions on products I use in my professional career. The Focus Insite employees are always professional, helpful, reliable, and respectful. They are a pleasure to work with to get you set up with making a little extra income and provide you with a pleasurable experience. A relationship with Focus Insite is key to long term success!  

Covid Vaccine Meets a Cold Reception in France

Covid Vaccine Meets a Cold Reception in France

Since 78-year-old nursing home resident Mauricette received the first Covid vaccination in France on December 27, the French have given the new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine a cool reception. President Emile Macron declared, “Let’s have trust in our researchers and doctors. We are the nation of the Enlightenment and of Pasteur. Reason and science should guide us.” So far though, few seem to be heeding Macron’s words. Vaccinations for SARS-CoV-2 are proceeding at a painfully slow pace in many nations, but progress in France—which has lost more citizens to Covid-19 than almost any other EU country—has been moving at a (pre-climate-change) glacial pace.

One key issue is surely the logistics of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. In France, nursing home residents were designated to be the first to receive shots, but most care home facilities lack the special freezers needed to store the vaccine at -70 degrees Centigrade. Another factor, one that affects most countries, is that politicians have been setting overly optimistic, pie-in-the-sky targets. For the French, though, the steepest barrier is an anti-vaxx climate that permeates the country. Repeated polls in the fall indicated that over 50% of of the French did not intend to get a shot when vaccines became available (compared to about 36% in US polls). In practice, the numbers are even more dismaying. During the first week of the national rollout—which placed care home residents at the top tier—fewer than 600 people received Covid jabs. (Some 400 French are dying every day of Covid complications). As a Bloomberg columnist put it, “At this rate, it would take France about 400 years to vaccinate its people.” France is a bastion of vaccine hesitancy—to such an extent that even many healthcare providers regard vaccines as suspect.

The stalled Covid vaccination campaign is the latest episode in the history of French vaccine misadventures. Officials are retooling plans in the hope of fending off a repeat of the disastrous 2009 H1N1 effort—in which only 8% of the population received shots and millions of vaccine doses were wasted.

This dubious attitude toward scientifically tested life-saving medicines in the home of Louis Pasteur may seem strange, but it does not arise from a mistrust of science so much as a mistrust of institutions, especially government. As vaccination campaigns tend to be government-run, politics, as in the US, can be a deciding factor. Social media falsehoods about the new vaccines run rampant, and both the far-right and far-left mingle vaccine hesitancy with a deep suspicion of the Macron administration. “Part of the population may reject the jabs just because they don’t see them as an anti-Covid vaccine, but as a pro-Macron one,” science historian and vaccine hesitancy researcher Laurent-Henri Vignaud told Wired UK. Mistrust is further fueled by mishandling of mask guidelines to a degree that makes the US fumbles seem quite venial.

Others point out that the birthplace of the Enlightenment is also an unusually skeptical nation. Patients are required to consult with a doctor five days before getting a shot, all patients must officially give consent, and nursing home residents (the first group to receive vaccinations in France) are given time for “reflection” in case they change their minds about getting a jab. The required medical consultations and other restrictions, such as requiring vaccinations to be given by a doctor or by a nurse under direct doctor supervision, have already been relaxed in an attempt to expedite the process.

What now? The country is engaged in a mad dash to jump-start the campaign. One positive step is that nursing home staff over age 50 were moved up the line to be vaccinated along with care home residents, along with healthcare providers. Progress among HCPs should speed things, as many hospitals have freezers capable of storing the Pfizer-BioNTech formula, and the arrival of the Moderna vaccine (which can be stored in a regular freezer) will ease the logistics of vaccinating France’s large elderly population. Also, it should be kept in mind that most countries have had deeply disappointing vaccine rollouts. As more types of vaccines become available, and as nations start to correct the hyper-inflated targets set by elected officials, the process should pick up speed, but it is probably too early to indulge in speculation about when communities will see a return to “normalcy.”

Springer Publishing Sweeps AJN Book of the Year Awards. Again!

Springer Publishing Sweeps AJN Book of the Year Awards. Again!

The results are in, and the American Journal of Nursing (AJN) Book of the Year Awards for 2020 offer a fascinating snapshot of the nursing profession as we assimilate the impact of the pandemic.

Springer Publishing Sweeps the AJN 2020 Book of the Year Awards.

DailyNurse is proud to note that Springer Publishing (our parent company) swept this year’s Book of the Year awards, with 19 titles singled out for honors by AJN’s expert judges! (Including all three awards in the Gerontologic Nursing category). Eight Springer Publishing books received First Place awards, five titles earned Second Place awards, and another five books placed Third among the titles chosen by the AJN judges. One book, the Handbook of Perinatal and Neonatal Palliative Care, was even chosen by two judges as the first-place selection in two different categories. So, why hide one’s light under a bushel? Here are the 18 winning Springer Publishing titles of 2020, with comments by the judges…

Awarded First Place: ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSING

Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology: Essentials for Clinical Practice

Edited by Nancy C. Tkacs, Linda L. Herrmann, and Randall L. Johnson. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“Masterfully links normal physiology, pathophysiology, and clinical practice…. This new foundational text has advanced practice nurses covered.”

Margo A. Halm, PhD, RN, NEA-BC
Advanced Pediatric Assessment - First Place AJN Book of the Year, 2020

Awarded First and Third Place: CHILD HEALTH

1. Advanced Pediatric Assessment, Third Edition

By Ellen M. Chiocca. 3rd edition. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“An excellent reference for the pediatric NP student or other nurse clinician working to gain expertise in pediatric assessment…. [With] excellent photographs and illustrations.”

Jessica Spruit, DNP, CPNP-AC
Pediatric Emergent/Urgent Ambulatory Care

3. Pediatric Emergent/Urgent and Ambulatory Care: The Pocket NP

By Sheila Sanning Shea, Karen Sue Hoyt, and Kathleen Sanders Jordan. 2nd edition. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“A concise reference for the busy emergency or urgent care clinician… Clinicians facing a less-familiar patient complaint can easily reference this text, which can be carried in a lab-coat pocket.”

Jessica Spruit, DNP, CPNP-AC

Awarded Second and Third Place: COMMUNITY/PUBLIC HEALTH

2. Population-Based Nursing: Concepts and Competencies for Advanced Practice

Edited by Ann L. Cupp Curley. 3rd edition. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“This engaging text… is very well written, and its narrative flows seamlessly…. It also promotes the utilization of research evidencethis is vital, as advanced practice can serve a pivotal role in the translation of research into practice and can positively impact individual and population health.”

Katherine H. Lawson, DNP, RN
Social Work and Mental Health

3. Social Work and Mental Health: Evidence-Based Policy and Practice

By Sylvia I. Mignon. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“I recommend it for public health nurses to gain insight into mental health carean often underserved area within public health practice and the health care system… An excellent presentation of current issues surrounding mental health…. Uses enlightening real-world case examples… Provides a complete overview of mental health issues, including history, current status, and recommendations to promote health.”

Katherine H. Lawson, DNP, RN

Full-Category Sweep! GERONTOLOGIC NURSING

1. Global Aging: Comparative Perspectives on Aging and the Life Course

By Frank J. Whittington, Suzanne R. Kunkel, and Kate de Medeiros. 2nd edition. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“An excellent introduction to major issues in societal and global aging… This is an important text both for students interested in global health and those who want to understand the cultural aspects of aging in their own country.”

Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN
Pharmacological Considerations in Gerontology

2. Pharmacological Considerations in Gerontology: A Patient-Centered Guide for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and Related Health Professions

By Abimbola Farinde and Megan Hebdon. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“This excellent guide provides useful information for prescribers, including a comprehensive overview of age-related considerations in prescribing medications and evaluating their effectiveness… Well organized, comprehensive, and presented in an accessible and helpful way to support busy clinicians… An excellent resource for practicing prescribers and educators.”

Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN
Evidence Based Geriatric Nursing Protocols

3. Evidence-Based Geriatric Nursing Protocols for Best Practice, Sixth Edition

Edited by Marie Boltz, Elizabeth A. Capezuti, DeAnne Zwicker, and Terry Fulmer. 6th edition. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“A must-have for all practicing clinicians who care for older adults. Written by an outstanding group of authors who are leaders in the field of gerontological nursing, it provides a comprehensive guide to high-quality, person-centered care.”

Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN

Awarded First Place: INFORMATICS

1. Emerging Technologies for Nurses: Implications for Practice

Edited by Whende M. Carroll. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“An excellent text for nurses who have expertise in informatics topics. The inclusion of important contemporary topics makes this book stand out…. Includes practical and clinically relevant topics for nurses at all levels… Very inspiring for the nurse who wishes to learn more about informatics in health care.”

Susan Alexander, DNP, ANP-BC, ADM-BC

Awarded First and Second Place: MATERNAL–CHILD HEALTH/PRENATAL NURSING/CHILDBIRTH

Handbook of Perninatal and Neonatal Palliative care

1. Handbook of Perinatal and Neonatal Palliative Care: A Guide for Nurses, Physicians, and Other Health Professionals

By Rana Limbo, Charlotte Wool, and Brian S. Carter. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“This book should be required reading for anyone who works in perinatal and neonatal care.”

Rachel Blankstein Breman, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN

2. Comprehensive Neonatal Nursing Care

Edited by Carole Kenner, Leslie B. Altimier, and Marina V. Boykova. 6th edition. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“A great resource for neonatal nurses. The information is easy to read, follow, and understand… The graphics and tables were superior to those found in most other nursing textbooks.”

Rachel Blankstein Breman, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN

Awarded Second and Third Place: NURSING EDUCATION/CONTINUING EDUCATION/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

An Educator's Guide to Humanizing Nursing Education

2. An Educator’s Guide to Humanizing Nursing Education: Grounded in Caring Science

By Chantal Cara, Marcia Hills, and Jean Watson. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“It is fitting and timely that a well-established nursing theory emphasizing caring be applied to improving the climate and practices of nursing education…. The book exemplifies [the characteristics of Jean Watson’s theory of caring and her 10 Caritas Processes]… as the underpinning of the nurse educator’s work and reminds us that the individuality of the student is as important as the individuality of the patient.”

Gloria Donnelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCPP
Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education

3. Evaluation and Testing in Nursing Education, Sixth Edition

By Marilyn H. Oermann and Kathleen B. Gaberson. 6th edition. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“Having this book on every faculty member’s desk might increase the success rate in nursing education programs.”

Gloria Donnelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCPP

Awarded First Place: NURSING MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

1. Evidence-Based Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in Nursing and Healthcare: A Practical Guide for Success

By Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk and Tim Raderstorf. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“What I loved about this book is that the authors made complex leadership and business topics accessible and interesting by sharing leaders personal stories…. Provides actionable and practical strategies students can use to further their own development… Readable and clear, it is sure to be a favorite among students.”

Rose O. Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Awarded First Place (sole category winner): NURSING RESEARCH

Translation of Evidence Into Nursing and Healthcare

1. Translation of Evidence Into Nursing and Healthcare, Third Edition

Edited by Kathleen M. White, Sharon Dudley-Brown, and Mary F. Terhaar. 3rd edition. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“The authors of this text capture why we need to translate evidence into practice, and they present an unbiased collection of translation roadmaps for any nurse to use. Just reading the table of contents alone demonstrates the breadth of knowledge that academicians need to teach tomorrows nurse leaders about translation… Would be useful as core reading for DNP and Ph.D. programs.”

Rodney W. Hicks, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN

Awarded First and Second Place: PALLIATIVE CARE AND HOSPICE

1. Handbook of Perinatal and Neonatal Palliative Care: A Guide for Nurses, Physicians, and Other Health Professionals

By Rana Limbo, Charlotte Wool, and Brian S. Carter. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“An outstanding book that addresses a very important and underserved population… Comprehensive and clinically sound.”

Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FHPN, CHPN

2. Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN) Exam Review: A Study Guide with Review Questions

By Patricia Moyle Wright. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“Excellent… thorough… In addition to serving as a study tool, it would make a great general resource for all palliative care clinicians.”

Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, FAAN, FHPN, CHPN

Awarded Third Place: PROFESSIONAL ISSUES

3. The Rebel Nurse Handbook: Inspirational Stories by Shift Disruptors

By Rebecca Love, Nancy Hanrahan, Mary Lou Ackerman, Faith Ann Lawlor, Amy Rose Taylor, and Elizabeth Toner. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“We all need to be inspired right now. This is the perfect book to read as we consider the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, both temporary and permanent.”

Katheren Koehn, MA, RN, FAAN

Awarded First Place: PSYCHIATRIC AND MENTAL HEALTH NURSING

1. Fast Facts for the Nurse Psychotherapist: The Process of Becoming

Edited by Jeffrey S. Jones and Kathleen R. Tusaie. New York City, Springer Publishing Company.

“In a concise, easy-to-read, and resource- and example-rich text, Jones and Tusaie, both experienced nurse psychotherapists, present information for both novice and experienced psychiatric advanced practice nurses who wish to provide psychotherapy.”

Donna Sabella, PhD, MEd, MSN, PMHNP-BC

To see the full list of all 2020 AJN Book of the Year Awards, click here. To see the judges’ reviews of all of the 2020 Book of the Year titles, click here (PDF file).

Setting Career Goals for the New Year

Setting Career Goals for the New Year

People tend to think of the New Year as a time to ponder—about ourselves, our lives, and our careers. It’s also a great time to think about your personal career goals.

While it may seem difficult during the pandemic to think about what’s next in your nursing career, it’s still important to consider. After all, with the vaccines being administered, there is a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Kiley Griffin, RN and Andrea Hipolito, both Talent Advocate Leaders at Incredible Health, took time to answer our questions about how nurses can set career goals for themselves.

What are the first steps nurses should take in order to outline their career goals for the New Year? Should they have one, five, and ten-year plans? If not that way, then how?  

Griffin: It’s always important to have career goals and be ready to adjust and adapt given the changes COVID-19 is having on health care. Nurses should continue to outline their goals for the next year as well as long-term—where they want to be in 10 years. COVID-19 will have an impact on health care, and it may create more opportunities for nurses, so identifying future career goals now is important to plan.

Should they be based on their dream jobs, money, educational goals, etc.?

Hipolito: The motivator for why to switch jobs or why to choose a specific job is different for everyone. It is a very personalized decision based on what is important to that person, at that time in their lives. I tell my candidates to take the time to evaluate what terms are most important and why. 

Suppose they feel overwhelmed don’t know how to start? What are some tips they can use to start defining what they want to do? 

Hipolito: The first step is to figure out not only where you want to be right now, but where do you want to be in 1 year? Or in 5 years? 10 years? Are you comfortable in the role or specialty that you are in now, or do you want to make a change? 

Once you have the answer to those questions, you can choose a facility that aligns with those career goals. For example, you can choose an academic medical center that pays tuition for career advancement and offers a culture of learning if you plan on going back for your BSN or MSN. Or, if you decide that you are settled in where you live and are not looking to relocate, you can find a facility that is close to your home that offers great perks within your community. 

Certain facilities are great at promoting from within so they are a good option for a nurse who is looking to enter into a leadership position as the next step in their career path or switching into a specialty like the OR.

Once they have their overall goals, what should they do then? Come up with a timeline to achieve them? Break each down into manageable pieces?    

Hipolito: Once you have pinpointed what your personal and professional goals are, the next step is to do your research on the facilities in your area (or the area you desire to be in). Go to their websites and visit the “about” and the “career” pages. Check out their mission and values. These resources give great insight into what makes this hospital a place where you would want to work. They highlight the benefits and culture along with any impressive awards or accolades that the hospital is known for. 

Don’t fall into desperation mode and choose the first offer that comes along. Be patient and flexible with your timeline for the right position.

What are the biggest mistakes nurses should be aware of when they begin to outline their careers?   

Hipolito: Being money motivated sometimes excludes nurses from fantastic opportunities to advance their career or live a happier and more fulfilled life. When it comes to career satisfaction, there is more involved than money alone. The culture of the facility, the alignment of the facilities mission and values with your own, and work/life balance are very important factors in choosing one’s “dream job.”

Is there anything else important for our readers to know?

Griffin: Goals need preparation. Work on your resume and cover letters. Practice interviewing skills so that when you do find your dream job, you will be confident and prepared. Obtain any certifications or qualifications that will help you achieve your career goals. Network and seek out opportunities in the specialty or field you want to be in and use other nurses as resources and support.

Share This: 7 Ways to Support Nurses in 2021

Share This: 7 Ways to Support Nurses in 2021

During the initial US COVID-19 outbreak last March, Americans were quick to express their gratitude to nurses and other healthcare workers. Entire cities boosted the spirits of HCWs with nightly cheers, and individuals as well as businesses sent meals to hospitals, offered nurses personal assistance, and performed other acts of kindness. Now, with the massive fall/winter surge courses around the nation, people are searching for new ways to support nurses’ efforts in fighting the pandemic. If anyone asks you what they can do to support nurses, here are some suggestions from our friends at the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies (see the full story here):

1. Follow the Recommended Safety Protocols

Help slow the spread of the virus by taking the recommended precautions, such as staying home, wearing masks in public, and following social distancing guidelines. And make time to get a Covid-19 shot ASAP when the vaccines become available to the general public later this year!

2. Donate Blood

In times of crisis, there is often a shortage of blood donations, which can be critical for patient care. Organizations like the Red Cross offer information on how to find local blood drives. 

3. Contact Community Leaders

Find out if groups in your area are making efforts to help. For example, local churches have done cloth mask drives to help minimize the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) outside of health care settings, Arceneaux said.

4. Be an Advocate

Supporting policies and legislation that benefit public health and health care professionals can help make a lasting change. The American Nurses Association provides a regularly updated list of COVID-19 issues and information on how to help.

5. Get a Flu Shot

As we enter flu season, health care experts are worried about managing influenza outbreaks while also continuing to treat COVID-19 patients, Arceneaux said. Taking this precaution can help slow the spread of the influenza virus.

6. Ask a Nurse

If you know a nurse or health care worker, consider asking them if they need assistance with running errands, child care, or other tasks.

7. Give to Charities that Support Covid Frontliners

Several nonprofit organizations are currently raising money for COVID-19 initiatives. To make sure your money will be put to good use, look up the groups you are considering on Charity Navigator or Charity Watch to verify their trustworthiness.

Organizations That Aid Healthcare Workers

CDC Foundation Coronavirus Emergency Fund 

This crowdfunding effort by the CDC Foundation was established to direct funds toward purchasing medical supplies, increasing lab capacity, deploying emergency staffing, providing support to vulnerable communities, and other health care efforts related to COVID-19.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) COVID-19 Response Fund 

This fund aims to “support containment, response, and recovery activities.” In addition to providing services for vulnerable populations and small businesses, the fund also supports frontline health care workers by providing PPE and deploying emergency medical teams.

COVID-19 Frontline Health Worker Fund 

Intrahealth International is behind this initiative, which directly supports health care professionals. Services provided through donations vary, as they strive to address the current and ever-changing needs of medical teams.

COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO 

The World Health Organization is raising money to address the pandemic in many ways through their partnerships. In addition to accelerating COVID-19 research, WHO also offers PPE and other supplies to health care workers.

GlobalGiving Coronavirus Relief Fund 

Organized by GlobalGiving, this fund supports health care workers by sending medical teams to communities in need of additional help, as well as providing supplies such as masks and ventilators to hospitals. The fund additionally serves vulnerable community members affected by the pandemic.

Project HOPE 

Project HOPE focuses primarily on providing PPE to health care workers, delivering training on how to care for COVID-19 patients, and deploying health care workers to medical facilities in need of additional staffing.

Citation for this content: [email protected], the online MSN program from the School of Nursing & Health Studies

Frontline Providers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Respect and Admiration

Frontline Providers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Respect and Admiration

My wife, Sally, is an infusion nurse at Lurie Children’s Hospital and is now in her 43rd year on the front lines. She received the COVID-19 vaccine on January 2nd.

I have been working from home as the NICU Quality Improvement neonatologist for Comer Children’s Hospital at University of Chicago and came down to get my COVID-19 vaccine #1. I have had the opportunity to see a number of frontline providers, friends, and colleagues and spend some time in my office. As I walked by the NICU and the Emergency Department in the Children’s Hospital, I have a lot of mixed feelings. Practicing clinically was always my favorite part of my “job” and I miss it. At the same time, I am now 69 years old and am still also teaching, editing, writing, and helping nurses, nurse practitioners (NP), medical students, residents, fellows, faculty, and physician assistant (PA) students with their education, research, and writing. But I am now also in a high risk group for severe COVID-19 disease having had a four vessel bypass in 2013.

I have so much respect and admiration for all of the nurses, PAs, NPs, and physicians at every level of training and practice who are on the front lines during this COVID-19 pandemic. My feelings are so much greater when I am on site and seeing the challenges you all face to protect yourselves and still provide care for the children and their families.

One of the great challenges we face during this pandemic is figuring out which of our patients is at greatest risk for developing severe SARS-COV-2 infection or COVID-19 disease. Using epidemiological and descriptive studies we have been able to identify some high risk groups including older adult patients, those pediatric and adults patients with chronic disease, are pregnant,  and/or who are immuncompromised. Children, in general, unless they have an underlying disease, tend to have milder clinical courses, unless they develop multi-inflammatory systemic disease (MIS-C). So, we have to be concerned about every one of our patients when we see them and follow them closely. Around 30% of adults may have ongoing clinical manifestations including fatigue, dyspnea, joint pain, and chest pain as long as 6 weeks after their acute course. The fact that there are viral variants and evidence from other studies about immunity post other coronavirus infections suggests that we will not have lifelong immunity post having the clinical infection. We are not sure how long the immunity will last post clinical infection or with the vaccine as well. The pandemic and our knowledge base continues to evolve.

We also have the challenge of encouraging our patients and their families to get the COVID-19 vaccine(s) when they become available and are determined to be safe for children and pregnant women.

And what looking after ourselves? As I talk with Sally after she comes home from caring for her pediatric patients, most of whom have chronic disease including cancer, autoimmune diseases, inborn errors of metabolism, the stress on her and all of you who are on the front lines is increased to levels that are exhausting. As a former intensive care pediatrician for 30+ years, I can only empathize and imagine what you are all dealing with during this pandemic.

So please continue to follow the newest, evolving clinical recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after careful review. Please also realize how much all of us who are watching all of you care for patients on the front lines respect and admire you for your dedication. But please, take care of yourselves!

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