Dallas Nurse Starts Profession Amid Global Pandemic, Encourages Others

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For healthcare professionals who’ve recently graduated, stepping into a global pandemic was not something they could’ve foreseen.

In January, Ariel Toynes became a nurse. With her family supporting, she stepped off the stage as a new healthcare professional unaware that just weeks later, we’d face a global pandemic. Dallas County has reported more than 5,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of May.

“With me being a new nurse, we all have these moments like ‘what have we gotten into?’” said Toynes. “But again, I believe this is what God has called me to do.”

It’s not something nursing school could truly prepare her for mentally or emotionally; especially with two very vulnerable people in her own home.

“My mom, she has stage four cancer and I’m her caregiver and my daughter has asthma,” she said.

Even with state leaders giving the green light to reopen and loosen restrictions, Toynes said the routine at her house is as rigorous as ever. For the safety of her family and her patients, she must remain vigilant.

“I spray my shoes down. They don’t come into the house at all,” she said. “And then I get completely undressed in the garage. And I go straight to the shower”

Even with the uncertainty of a deadly virus, Toynes said the last few months have been an honor. And with Tuesday being International Nurses Day, she feels she was meant to be a healthcare worker at such a time as this.

“It’s a beautiful profession. It’s a blessing to be able to care for people when they can’t care for themselves,” she said.

And to her colleagues still on the front lines, she has a few encouraging words.

“Take solace and peace in knowing that you have a God-given talent to bless people and heal people.”

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