CRAIG DAVIS

Craig Davis, RN
Nurse, inpatient unit at Children’s Specialized Hospital, New Brunswick
Hometown: Plainfield

Davis is a pediatric nurse in a rehab facility and says that he can’t picture himself doing anything else, even with the added stress and restrictions brought on by coronavirus.

“I’ve worked here a little over three years and it’s one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs,” he says. Davis has been a nurse for four years and is motivated each day when he sees young patients get better—and knows he’s a part of that.

“Some days are tougher than others,” he says. “When coronavirus happened, we saw more of the after-effects of kids who have been in the hospital and needed that extra strengthening and conditioning. Some of the stories of resilience that kids have—you talk to them and listen to things they have overcome. They might not understand the magnitude of what they’re going through and they talk with childlike innocence. It pushes you further.”

Davis says he treats all of his patients like they’re “my little brothers and sisters.” He says there’s a lot more to nursing than just the medical needs of patients.

“The kids look up to me and they ask [if I’m] going to be their nurse. I try to make their stay as normal as possible by playing a game, listening to a song with them, whatever they need.”

“One thing that made it more difficult during coronavirus was the visiting restrictions,” he says. “Family members and siblings couldn’t really visit.” Instead, in-person visits were replaced by video chats. He tried to do everything he could for kids recovering from brain and spinal injuries and relearning to move their limbs or walk again.

He remembers a young girl who came from another country where she experienced hardship, and was inspired by her strength. “Just hearing her story and what she went through and to come here in the middle of all this,” he says.

Davis takes a lot of “mental health breaks” and vitamins, eats healthy, stays active and tries to get enough sleep. His friends and family, and in particular, his girlfriend, lent their support which made all the difference.

“She’s the one that sees me every day and is always giving that constant encouragement,” he says. “She knows that it’s healthcare and sometimes things happen, and you have to do the best to protect yourself. But she is worried. We’ve never seen something like this.”

Davis says that when he sees a child walk or move again when experts said they wouldn’t, it makes his job worth it. He says the kids are “truly inspiring. Words can’t describe it.”

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