Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Life is full of surprises and none of us know where we will be or what we will end up doing in life. This is exactly what happened to Amr Soliman, RN who can be found working at Mercy Hospital working, nights, in ICU.
Amr is from Egypt. He led an active life, traveling overseas, living in several places, including Ireland . “Oh, I didn’t care much for Ireland,” he said. “Ireland was so brutal with the wind and cold temperatures. My job in management, kept me traveling internationally, starting and promoting Chili’s Grill and Bar. Of course, this was when I was a young man; Single and twenty five years old, this wasn’t too bad at the time, and I really didn’t mind.” he said with a laugh. “I never gave much thought about doing anything else with my life,” Amr added. “It wasn’t long until I was sent to Chili’s headquarters, located in Dallas, Texas.” (story continues below)
“It was in Texas that I met my wife Bridget. She was a nurse and I admired her for working in the medical field, caring for others. The two of us dated for a while and when I went back to Egypt, she went with me. We ended up getting married in Egypt and then came back here to live. Since Oklahoma was my home now, I wasn’t sure what kind of work I wanted to do. It was at that time, my wife suggested I go to nursing school. I thought, why not? I knew it would be a steady job and a great opportunity so I went to nursing school. I knew that being a nurse would give me plenty of opportunities.”
“Now, I’ve been a nurse for five years,” Amr said. “At this point, I feel like I might go to school to be a nurse practitioner. I feel like I want to go farther with my career.”
“In the past, I worked at Mercy in ICU and I worked at Select Specialty Hospital. At that time, I was also a float, working in different places around the hospital, although it seemed like I always ended up in ICU. This is when I decided that I needed a little bit of a change. Since I had worked in ICU so much before, this was where I felt most comfortable and realized this was where I wanted to be. This is when I got a job at Mercy, working in ICU. It keeps us very busy, especially with the many cases of the coronavirus going on. We have had so many cases in the last month. At the beginning of the pandemic, all of the hospitals were full, then it tapered off. In the last month, the number of patients with the coronavirus are increasing again; It keeps the whole hospital busy, doing as much as we can to keep everyone safe. The hospitals are filling up again.”
When asking Amr to describe himself, he replied. “I’m an easy-going guy, and I try to do the best job I can. I feel like I get along with everyone. I am a very caring person and have a real heart for others. After I came here from Egypt, it was a real culture shock! Everything was so different and I had to get Americanized,” he said with a laugh. “I had to get used to everything. I guess I consider myself an Okie now,” he said with a bit of an accent and a laugh.
Asking Amr how the coronavirus has changed his life, he replied, “Things are so different in the hospital now. Of course, we all have to have the correct safety gear on; gloves, masks, our clothes completely covered when we are in the hospital. Going from room to room is difficult and when we go from one patient to another, we have to change and do it all over again. The pandemic has effected everyone in ways that we cannot even image. We all have to be strong and continue to go on with our daily lives, keeping ourselves and others safe. Following all of the safety measures and social distancing, etc. so we can see a normal lifestyle again. It is hard not to gather with friends, living our lives like we did before, “ Amr said. “Even though times are rough now, and the people in the medical field are on the frontline everyday, I consider myself fortunate to have a job, helping care for others.”