SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Del Mar nurse Pantea Vahidi has launched the ‘Caring for Those Who Care’ virtual support group for nurses, and other healthcare providers, with the intention of supporting those bravely fighting on the front lines of the novel Coronavirus all around the world.
The groups are held daily; interested nurses, and healthcare professionals, can register here..
“COVID-19 has humbled us to recognize that regardless of how advanced we are in science and technology, when the whole world is responding to a microscopic pathogen, the only thing we can turn to is each other,” said Vahidi, who grew up during the Iran-Iraq war, and is no stranger to uncertain times. She recalls memories of what it was like not knowing whether or not she and her family would be alive the next minute. “Compassion, connection, community, and courage were the only things that gave us resilience to get through those 8 years of turmoil.”
“Amidst all the heart-wrenching news of mortalities, there is nothing more heart-warming than watching Cuban nurses and doctors travelling to Milan, nurses and doctors in Iran dancing to cheer up patients, and people in Italy singing together from their balconies – overall, coming together as a global community during crisis,” said Vahidi. Humanitarian acts are saving lives.
With this mentality and a strong urge to help her peers from all across the world, she launched this support system. To fulfill that void despite the physical barriers, Vahidi took on the virtual world to host video conference group meetings to connect with nurses and make them feel cared for.
“Nurses and healthcare professionals need support more than ever and the quarantine and social distancing has made it difficult to tend to that human aspect that longs for being heard and held,” said Vahidi. “Connecting with compassion helps foster resilience, replenish strength and restore hope. It is like an emotional cane to help you walk, when you are too overwhelmed, exhausted, and scared to walk alone and need an extra leg to lean on,” she said.
This is meant to be a virtual compassionate haven and is not a replacement for psychotherapy, but it is a readily available emotional first aid kit to respond to the emotional turmoil that nurses are faced with every minute as the COVID-19 crisis continues.