Hello everyone, my name is Mikaela, I am 22 years old and from County Wexford. I am a Shona Ambassador and a healthcare assistant in a southeastern acute hospital.

I joined the Shona team in January 2020 and I absolutely love the sense of community that the Shona Project brings. The support I have received from my friends in the Shona Team is phenomenal and I love everything they stand for which is women empowerment, support and uplifting one another.

I have learned so much since starting in Healthcare in 2019. I never would have expected a full-scale global health pandemic to hit the world but I have tried to take in as much positivity as I could over the last two years from my experiences. I have compiled a shortlist of what I have gained from my time working as a healthcare worker during the pandemic.



Being a healthcare worker has made me very resilient, especially during the Covid Pandemic. I have faced some of my toughest challenges whilst working, from understaffed wards, the fear of contracting and spreading the virus and being surrounded by the pandemic from every aspect of my life – work, education and my personal life. However, I’ve always come out better and stronger than before, with a new lesson learned each time.

The pandemic was very difficult for me as a healthcare worker, but I have come out a much stronger and more resilient person because of it. This resilience has proved to me that I am strong and capable of overcoming any of life’s challenges it throws at me.


Self-care, and why it’s important


As funny as it sounds, I learned so much about self-care since the pandemic struck. Before I would have just come home, got a shower and went straight to bed after a long shift. Now, after most shifts, I practice journaling, a full skincare routine and all the other lovely self-care rituals I can do.

If I have a particularly tough shift, it’s so nice to know I can come home and journal about it. I can write about how I felt during a certain situation, why I may have felt that way and analyze how I could feel differently the next time it could happen. Journaling has made such a difference to how I live and react in situations, not just in work but in my day to day life too. A big tip I would recommend for journaling is to be completely raw and honest, no one is going to read what you write so it’s okay to be completely open and if you have to, rant away!

By doing my skincare routine, I find it’s a nice way to physically wash the day away and feel fresh and move on, putting the difficult parts of the day to one side and leaving it behind. Cleansing, toning and moisturizing my skin is not only physically good for me, but mentally. Never underestimate the small things that make you feel better!


Confidence in myself


My confidence and self-assurance soared in the last 2 years. Pre-pandemic I used to think I was a burden on the wards, no help to the other staff, not even to the patients. Now, I take pride in my work and how I do it. I don’t apologize for simply being present anymore, I am aware of my work ethic and that I am in no way a burden to anyone, especially not the patients! This confidence has made me a better healthcare worker and a better person overall. I am all for patient-centred care, I take pride in how I show my empathy and compassion to my patients and I truly adore helping people in their recovery journeys.


Healthcare truly changed my life. It shaped me into the woman I am today. I am more compassionate, emphatic and kind from being a healthcare worker. I have had tough days on the wards but the good always outweighs the bad. I’ve made friends for life working in healthcare and I have met and cared for the most inspiring and amazing patients. I will always be grateful for my job.

-Mikaela x


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