CHEK Upside: Victoria nurse opens up on life in the ER during the pandemic

CHEK Upside: Victoria nurse opens up on life in the ER during the pandemic

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As an emergency room nurse at Victoria General Hospital, Molly Constantine stays ready for the unexpected.

“Yeah, I just like how it’s always different and a little bit chaotic.”

She admits, however, battling on the frontlines during a pandemic took some getting used to.

“I would say the first couple months were full of fear,” said the 31-year-old. “I didn’t know if I would get COVID or die or how many co-workers might I lose to it.”

Constantine faced the fear head on — she even volunteered to join the COVID emergency response team, offering to transport, handle and treat patients in the early months of the then mysterious virus. If you ask why she’ll say it’s her calling — inspired by the care her younger brother Bryan received after a near-fatal ATV accident.

“In the midst of all the sadness and worry, I was just totally awe-struck by the PICU nurses and how professional they were and compassionate,” said the Penticton native who moved to Vancouver Island in 2018.

Bryan recovered, and within a year, Molly, the daughter of two physicians, was enrolled in nursing school.

Nearly a decade later, this frontline hero has no regrets.

“I love interacting with people, I love how every day is different like, there was a baby born the other day in the middle of emergency, there’s traumas that come in,” said Constantine.

In addition to handling a high-stress work environment in unprecedented times, Constantine also is a mother to a toddler, with another child on its way.

“I’m due in August,” said Constantine. “A little girl and we have a two and a half-year-old boy already.”

Although she admits she at times feels nervous working in this era of uncertainty, Molly Constantine believes she’s right where she belongs.

“I love my job, I think it’s all come together like it was meant to.”

March 10-16 is National Nursing Week across Canada, celebrating and recognizing the work of the approximate 440,000 nurses in the country.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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