Nursing was more than a career to Rachel Ellsworth, who says she was “called” to the work.
For 10 of her 12 years in nursing, Ellsworth was an intensive care nurse. The work energized her.
Though she did all she could to save them, she also found purpose in giving her patients a “peaceful, dignified death” when it was time.
When the pandemic began in early 2020, her commitment was tested but not quashed. But summer was worse. The hospital where she worked saw a major spike in Covid-19 patients. It became disturbingly clear when a patient wouldn’t survive.
The stress came to a head in late 2020 when a Covid-19 patient she “just adored, the sweetest guy,” begged her to try any treatments to save him. But they’d tried everything. She had no hope to give him. There was no dignifying his death.
After months of debating the decision, she finally quit her job in January, saying, “It broke me. It was just too much.”