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Sondra Bouchard is a Rhode Island College Nursing major who works 16-24 hours as a student nurse intern at Rhode Island Hospital. 

“The work that I do there is mostly patient care based. I help the patients with all of their activities of daily living: bathing, brushing teeth, toileting, providing lotion and other necessities,” explains Bouchard.

“I think the most important thing I do, as a student nurse intern, is to just be there for the patients. To help them talk to their loved ones, to make sure they’re not lonely.”

Bouchard does not consider herself to be at risk being on the frontline of the pandemic. “This is what I signed up for,” she says.

Her goal is to become a nurse and she believes that is what she is doing. “I signed up to be the patients’ advocate, to hold their hand at the worst time of their life, and to talk with them when the hospital isn’t allowing visitors,” she declares. “Knowing I improved a patient’s day, if only for a few minutes, makes me so happy.”

Bouchard not only loves her profession, but also her family. She is now staying out of her house to protect her mother who is immunocompromised. “I am driving to my house at least once every other day to talk to my parents from a distance,” she says. “I take every precaution to ensure that I, as well as those around me, don’t get sick.”

“This crisis has definitely opened my eyes. I knew what I was getting into going to school to be a nurse, but this has shown me all of the hard work, dedication, love and kindness it truly takes to be a great nurse.” She concludes, “I am up for the challenge!”

This story is Part 5 in a series of stories about members of the Rhode Island College community serving various roles at Rhode Island Hospital during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the other parts here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 6