MJC Alumna at Front Line of COVID19

Tania Barjesteh has service to others in her blood. Both her mother and her grandmother are nurses. A graduate of the MJC Nursing program in 2016, she currently works at Doctor's Medical Center. Like most MJC students, Barjesteh did not have a linear path into nursing; she worked as a Vet Tech before making the decision to go into nursing. 

It was the affordability of the MJC Nursing Program, when compared to the heavy expense of doing a similar program at a 4-year university that first got her interested. But more than anything, it was a serious conversation she had with her mother at their kitchen table before enrolling in classes that sealed her decision.  

My mother got very real with me. She looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘In this field, you need to treat your patients, like you would your family. It is a hard profession. It can easily wear on you if your heart is not fully in it, and you will hate it if that happens.' I took to heart what she said and made my decision based on that conversation. 

Once she started the program, Barjesteh quickly realized she had made the right decision. She describes her instructors as very passionate about their subject matter. She expressed how the MJC Nursing Program gave her a real glimpse of what it would be like to be a nurse and prepared her to deal with the current situation with COVID-19. 

The interview with Barjesteh took place later in the evening, since she covers the graveyard shift at Doctor’s Medical Center.  

How has it been working as a nurse during this time? 

It has been eye-opening. We have not had as many deaths as other counties, but I have witnessed and treated patients with severe breathing issues in our COVID-19 Unit. 

Have you been concerned for your safety? 

Because this is “Novel,” which means it’s a new virus that is very difficult to pinpoint and know how it is going to behave, we have all taken very precaution, not be exposed. We were equipped with PPT the hospital, but I wear glasses and goggles are hard to wear for a whole shift. Then I received a call from Dr. Dave Martin and when he told me he was creating face shields. I jumped at the chance. 

How are you preparing for a surge in the county? 

We are prepared for it. I am prepared mentally. I know I am in the right field. 

What advice do you give to a student wanting to go into nursing? 

If your heart is in it, you wake up every day knowing you are an essential worker who saves lives.