How Should Christian Nurses Respond to COVID Burnout?

How Should Christian Nurses Respond to COVID Burnout?

by Scott Long, MS, RN, AGACNP-BC, CCRN

Nurse caring for a child in hospital

Providing critical care is something I have felt called to since day one of nursing school, and I have since expanded my skills to become an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in the Intensive Care Unit. I have felt blessed and honored to provide comfort to patients and their families during times of serious illness. This is a stressful yet rewarding job. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has added even more to stress, anxiety, and even burnout for nurses, even Christian nurses.

As Christian healthcare workers, what should our perspective and response be during this COVID season and how can we help reduce burnout among nurses?

Our Perspective

Our identity is on the table

We are not just healthcare workers, but Christian healthcare workers. We have an opportunity to be what only people who know Christ can be in this response. This opportunity affords us to live out our faith and serve from our identity in Christ. It’s amazing that during a time like this, we are able to live and serve as children of the King much more straightforwardly, confident that he is still on the throne. Our hope makes us stand tall, it does not put us to shame. Our hope in this pandemic is once again pegged on our God. He will not destroy, we can echo that hope in the midst of every situation as it unfolds. We can have courage as fear, panic, and anxiety rise, we will be different. The Lord is with us, we will not be dismayed. He will strengthen us when we begin to fear. His outstretched hand is victorious. Let’s take hold of it.

God watches over us

Has he not assured us he is our refuge and our fortress, and we can trust him? Surely, He will save you from the snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. We can trust him. And even if He invites us into a pit, even there he will be with us. Luke 9:2 NKJV, comes to mind in this context, Jesus is sending out his disciples, it says, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. God is giving us the opportunity to bring healing physically and more important spiritually. We are the people God is going to use to halt this. His people, who are called by his name, humbling ourselves and praying and seeking his face and turning from any wrongdoing. We are the aroma of Christ to all who are affected, directly or indirectly. To one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? As men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. We are his aroma in this pandemic.

We cannot rely on our own ability

It could well be that this has happened so that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God during this time. On him we have to set our hope that he will continue to deliver us and those we serve. His love abides, to the end, nothing will separate us from his love. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We can’t share the Good News during this COVID-19 pandemic without being present. Caring for those fearful about or suffering from this virus from afar is for us is not an option.

Our Response

May we be a shining light to the nations May those we serve see his glory shine through us. May we bring a word of hope to one and to all. Let his mercy flow through us that the nations may be healed through the power of Christ. May we display his uncompromised righteousness in this season, as we fulfill our role.

Yes, we will stand

Does it feel like war? Maybe, it does maybe is physical and spiritual warfare but as Christian healthcare workers through fear we will stand. Soldiers of the cross marching with him. His banner of love will be lifted by us. May he lead the procession of Christian health workers and may we be among that number. Until this has passed, he can count on us. We will stand by his passion and zeal. As duty calls, we will not be found wanting. We sign in, ready to serve.

The end is around the corner

The finish line is just ahead. What is this finish line? Is this our opportunity to finally reach all people with the Gospel to fulfill the great commission or just an opportunity to be a part of a great revival that brings about a great awakening with people and countries turning back to God? Whatever the finish line maybe, we must continue to run and not be weary. We will walk and not faint. Though the night tarries, but joy comes in the morning. Soon, we will look back and give thanks. Until then, we will continue to fight the good fight for those patients we were called to serve, through Jesus Christ.

Scott Long serves as Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Cedarville University School of Nursing. He has been a nurse since 2004, serving in the ICU with trauma and cardio-thoracic surgery population. He also spent time as critical care flight nurse for eight years. In 2017, he completed an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program and has been practicing as an NP in critical care. He received his M.S. in adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner from Wright State University.

The Master of Science in Nursing program at Cedarville University School of Nursing is equipping advanced practice nurses with the training and skills needed to succeed wherever God leads them. Choose from focus areas in Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Global Public Health Nursing, and Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Improvement. An M.S.N.+M.B.A. Dual Degree is also available.

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