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Covid-19 From the Eyes of a Millennial Nurse

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Dealing with the Coronavirus from the viewpoint of a millennial nurse and how the affects are taking their toll.

Specializes in emergency nursing. Has 9 years experience.

What is the millennial response to covid-19?

Covid-19 From the Eyes of a Millennial Nurse

Defining Characteristics

Each generation has their defining characteristics. For example, Millennials are ambitious and confident, Baby Boomers are often idealist and good communicators, and Gen X-ers are self sufficient and adaptable. Well, I never put much stock into this kind of stuff in order to avoid stereotyping, but as I read more about Millennials, I see a handful of my own attributes sprouting up. Nowhere did I come across anything talking about how Millennials would react to a global pandemic though! I certainly never expected to be living during one, let alone working on the frontlines of it.


As a Millennial, I tend to be intrinsically motivated and ambitious, so when this pandemic stopped me in my tracks, in terms of life plans, the claws came out. I dug deep into my work in the ER trying to forget about all other plans I was working on that were on hold for an unknown amount of time. For example, the committees that I actively participate in stopped, horse shows stopped, and the gym closed….and hey, we Millennials need the gym! The usual confidence (albeit an average humble amount) that I head into work with has been replaced with a healthy portion of concern and at times fear of the potential effects of this virus on myself, or more importantly my family. The bulldozing, jump into flames head-on attitude that we ER nurses are known for has been replaced with a more methodical procedure of first and foremost applying PPE and stopping to think about it as we go. Gone are the days of grab and go without first putting on gloves, a gown, and face shield. The multitasking that is so characteristic of this generation has unfortunately slowed when it comes to the attention to detail that must be paid to gowning up. That PPE is the same stuff us ER folks sometimes tend to ignore when we care for the run of the mill patients diagnosed with VRE, ESBL, or those that had MRSA somewhere in their body at some point in time.

Look But Don't Touch

Additionally, the Millennials are known for their family centric attitude, yet that has changed to a look but don’t touch lifestyle. Family get togethers and outings are now limited to Zoom or FaceTime calls. Weekends spent at cookouts and barbecues are replaced with movie marathons on the couch at home.

Team Approach

On the other hand, the team oriented approach to COVID-19 patient care involving multidisciplinary collaborations delves deep into the heart and soul of many Millennials who grew up playing team sports and participating in group activities. Perhaps that is one thing that is right up our allies, in addition to all of the technological advances such as remote monitoring and screening apps that Millennials always embrace.

Overall, most Millennials are creative, passionate about learning, and open to change (or so they say)! This virus has demanded all of that and more from each one of us. Covid-19 has challenged all of us from the bedside and beyond. From staff nurses to administration to doctors, respiratory therapists, first responders and more essential workers, we have all been affected. Practices are changing, the pace of our lives are changing, and we are changing ourselves, whether we know it or not.

We Are In This Together

Regardless of our ages, this pandemic is affecting all of us and the lack of our “normal life” has been devastating for some. Going forward, I say channel your inner Millennial, Baby Boomer, or whatever group you fall into, and lend a helping hand to others in need. We are all in this together.

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4 Comment(s)

A Hit With The Ladies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych. Has 5 years experience.

Those are some pretty sweeping generalizations! (I'm a 31 year-old Millennial).

NursonalTrainer, BSN

Specializes in emergency nursing. Has 9 years experience.

There are many generalizations about the various generations...doesn't mean everyone falls into them though!


Specializes in SCRN. Has 7 years experience.

Nice inspiring article.

Although chronologically I would be a millennial, I do not associate with them (or other generation for that matter) because I grew up oversees.

Littleblackdog, ADN, BSN, RN

Has 37 years experience.

I am 67 and guess what? I didn't expect to live through a pandemic either. I don't think we are all so very different.