Yusuf Rizam

You’re not on your own

As a new nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic, Yusuf shares his experience caring for patients in the ICU, seeing them struggle, and working with his preceptor to make a difference.

portrait of Yusuf Rizam, nurse at UC Davis Health


I'm glad I'm going through this with the preceptor, because if I started by, let's say my orientation was finished and then it hit, then it would have been definitely more stressful. But the support I'm getting from the nurses and the unit itself is very supportive, not just the nurses, but everyone around, always there for me. I feel like it's a teamwork environment. You're not on your own. Once I sensed that, I'm much more at ease. Even though I know I'm a nurse, I'm responsible, but I know that there's people out there that will help me when I need it. Knowing that is really comforting.

One of the challenges would probably be, I guess, seeing patients struggle. There's only so much you can do. We're doing our best, but there are times when it doesn't go the way you want it to go. During my clinicals, I saw a lot of patients actually recover, get well, and it was a really good feeling when you're like, "You know what? I was part of this." They got better, and they went home. But now I'm starting to see that's not always the case. There are patients that don't make it. There are patients that are going to be struggling and have a lower quality of life after this, and that's something that really hit me. It's just life, and through it all, you just got to know that you're doing your best, and there's so much you can do.