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Roshni Patel Oral History Interview

Roshni Patel is a first generation daughter of Gujarati parents who immigrated initially to Hackensack, NJ and then northern VA in the 70's for an opportunity to give more to the next generation. Observing her grandparents and parents navigate a foreign world instilled a sense of compassion and a desire to work with purpose. After burning out in a corporate career, Roshni pursued nursing with a newfound zeal for a work that aligned her skills with her heart. She is a Lead Clinical Nurse at a large academic medical center in Baltimore and continues to advocate for her patients and coworkers through her leadership roles at the hospital. She has spent years as a CUSP chair in her department — a safety program that looks at events at the hospital and seeks to prevent the next person from getting hurt by making system changes.

She shares her personal experience working on the frontlines of the pandemic and the reckoning she witnessed in an already broken healthcare system. She vulnerably shares the realities of burnout - unsupported, unappreciated, and under duress. She also shares the thread of community and self-worth to counter the unfair burden nurses experienced shift after shift, wave after wave. Roshni is adored by her nieces and nephews and loves being a "masi", traveling the world and spending time with friends and family.

In this slideshow, you will see:
Photos of Roshni and her coworkers. Roshni's coworker shares the impact of wearing PPE for 1 shift. The many sacrifices health care workers made.

A photo of Roshni vaccinated. "Got my shot! To say it’s been a shit year is an understatement. But I feel we’re starting the next year in the right direction, starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I know there are differing schools of thought on getting the ‘covid shot’ and I respect that. But if you have questions, reach out to your health care providers and ask. Do research. Make your own decision, but make sure it is an informed decision. Be well and remember to take care of yourself and each other."

A photo of Rohsni's family. Being a "masi" and spending time with family is guaranteed to make Roshni happy. Over the course of the pandemic, Roshni had larger lapses of time between seeing her siblings or spending time with her nieces and nephews out of fear that she would be the one to make someone she loved sick. Isolating herself from her support system made navigating the pandemic so much worse. These sacrifices seem small, but they impact our wellness in big ways.

A photos of Zoom gatherings that helped people feel connected over the social isolation, especially with colleagues who felt like family.

Service, Grief

Duration: 00:38:26

Date: February 12, 2022
Subject(s): Roshni Patel
Type: Oral History
Source: Archival Creators Fellowship Program
Creator: Roshni Shah
Contributor: Roshni Patel
Location: Chicago, IL

Collection: Roshni Shah Fellowship Project
Donor: Roshni Patel
Item History: 2022-06-17 (created); 2022-08-05 (modified)

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