To: Editor, Amandala
Good afternoon. Attached is my article that I hope will be able to make it on the Amandala issue.
by Sarita Barrera
The woman behind the face shield — an extraordinary registered nurse. At a tender age, she held the position of unit manager of what was once known as the COVID Unit, facing many difficult tasks. The COVID Unit, her second home, was eventually affectionately titled “Fluville”. Fluville consisted of three sections: the COVID positive unit, the unit for persons under investigation, and the flu clinic. Each section was saturated with sick patients attempting to survive a pandemic that made the entire world [stand] still. Nurse Padilla was the sinew of “Fluville”.
In addition to managing such a large, volatile unit, from the other side of the plexus glass, we saw Wonder Woman dressed head to toe in a hazmat suit with face shield and N95 mask, while holding patients’ best interest at heart. Nurse Padilla is not only Wonder Woman, but the vein whisperer. One of a nurse’s worst nightmares is not seeing blood in the flashback chamber upon inserting an I.V. She is a super hero in scrubs. Furthermore, she is strong and compassionate—traits to describe the warrioress she is, battling nursing career conundrums and kerfuffles for what appears to be an eternity.
A work shift seems like an eternity; it was long after seven. “Thank you,” said the AI voice as she clocked out. This was not the end of her day. Karla is a wonderful mother and wife; however, even being at home, she was like Batman—one signal for help, in our era a phone call or WhatsApp message away. She drove her grey automobile to assist. Her car keys at hand, she would not only give a helping hand, but as well she had a giving hand.
She brought us either Relleno, sweets, donations or flowers for patients and the team. Not only did we receive material items, but also numerous jokes, compliments and constructive criticisms. As a great leader, Nurse Padilla connected with her team players, exhibiting humility. Without a doubt, Karla goes above and beyond for her patients and team. This wonder woman gives without expecting anything in return.
Nurse Padilla is a lauded nurse by many people outside and inside the healthcare system.
In Belize’s healthcare system, we have several inspirational nurses whom we at times take for granted. Today I pay tribute to Nurse Padilla as a small sentiment to express our gratitude for her hard and great work.
Nurses are the backbone of the health care system.
“Always thank your nurse; sometimes they’re the only ones between you and a hearse.”— Warren Beatty
(AMANDALA Ed. Note: We had to ask Sarita Barrera for a little more background to this “Nurse Padilla”—when it was written and what inspired her to pen this touching tribute, which we are happy to share with our readers.
Sarita’s reply: “Thank you for your response. This tribute was written on November 28th 2023. Her name is Karla Padilla married Bradley, but at work she is popularly known as Nurse Padilla. Nurse Padilla left to Taiwan to complete an eighteen-month training program in Operating Room Nursing today. I know it is a bittersweet moment for her, and I have intentions to place a smile on her face. Karla migrated from Honduras when she was a little girl and resided in Orange Walk Town. However, she has been living in Belmopan since she graduated from UB June 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Nursing. We studied and graduated nursing together from UB. I am her co-worker at Western Regional Hospital, and she was my COVID unit manager. She has been working at WRH ever since she graduated and became licensed in 2012. I decided to write this story until now because, firstly, we tend to report sensational news but fail to follow up. COVID was once headlines and nurses were called heroes. How has it been after the COVID pandemic? Secondly, there is a lack of recognition of all the great work she did. I wish to make another positive publication of nurses after COVID. Thirdly, leaving Belize and her family is bitter. Her one and only son has been affected the most, and I wish to have Angelo (her son) feel proud of his mom being in the newspaper. I hope this additional information helps. Thank you.”)