Ella M. Moncur, RN, MSDA Class of 1992, is the Director of Nursing at Summit Ridge Center, a nursing home and short-term rehabilitation center in West Orange, New Jersey. In her role as Director of Nursing, Ella is responsible for the overall quality of care and patient outcomes for the community Summit Ridge serves. She is also responsible for 100+ employees in her department, ensuring their wellbeing and ongoing compliance with the facility's polices and procedures – a role, which on a typical day, “has always been quite stressful,” Ella notes.
In explaining what a day at work is like now, Ella says, “There really has been no typical day since the start of COVID-19. Everything shifted in what seemed like a blink of an eye. For the safety of our patients and employees, we had to create new policies on-demand, which had to be constantly revised because things were happening and changing so quickly. Even now that the curve has started to flatten, we are still operating in uncharted territory as we continue to work diligently to prevent a second wave.”
With respect to what she is experiencing and feeling in her role as a healthcare provider in the days of COVID19, Ella remarked, “There were, and still are, so many emotions that passed through my body. I often felt like I was on an emotional rollercoaster. Through this process I have experienced mental, emotional and physical exhaustion. Working countless hours and the mental drain of just knowing that as much as I wanted to fix all of this, it was totally out of my control. As a healthcare professional, our goal is to nurture people back to good health so not having that control was heartbreaking, it felt both depleting and defeating.”
With thoughts of hope, Ella shares, “As hard as this process and experience has been, I am grateful that I was able to lead my team through the thick of the crisis. We are not out of the woods yet, but I am hopeful that the worst is behind us.” We join you in that hope, Ella, and thank you for delivering nurturing care and compassion to the community at Summit Ridge while also watching out for your team.