PORTLAND (WGME) — For Munib Abid, a student nurse at the University of New England, more than a month of his winter break was spent helping COVID-19 positive patients at Island Nursing Home in Deer Isle.
“I assisted residents with their activities and daily living. I was able to change colostomy bags,” Abid said.
It was Abid’s first time working in a nursing home and he said the struggles every nursing home is now experiencing were hard to watch.
“Being understaffed and not having any skills, not knowing where anything is, not knowing any of the patients, it was quite nerve-wracking in a way,” he said.
Including how deadly COVID-19 can be.
“Four residents of my own that I was taking care of actually passed away and that was quite eye opening for me,” he said.
Despite the hard times, Abid said the experience only made him look forward to entering the field.
“That kind of re-sparked the fire within me, to carry that forward as a healthcare worker, as a healthcare professional,” he said. “I’m glad and thankful for that experience that Deer Isle nursing home gave to me.”
Island Nursing Home Executive Director Matthew Trombley said they were grateful for all the students who spent time working there.
“The students that stepped up to help us at a time of need were extremely pleasant, professional and had an insatiable desire to help others,” he said.
Abid said it was an experience that any future nursing student should jump at the chance to be a part of.
“The pandemic was one side of things but it also goes to show some of the other things that we as a community and as a country need to work on in general,” he said.