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Gratitude: Guest Columnist Jamie Rudd

Kerrie Kleppin-Winn
January 5 2021

“Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude” was the culture topic at Nebraska Medicine for the month of December. How timely. On December 23rd, as I sat briefly in a chair in a massive conference room converted to be a large scale vaccine clinic, to get my first COVID vaccine, I couldn’t help but feel gratitude and relief. For all, 2020 has been exhausting, frightening and over-whelming, but it’s awe-inspiring to reflect back on what was accomplished. The care, the compassion, the adaptability, the logistics and the SCIENCE! For the 0.3mL of liquid medical miracle that I received, thousands of hours of drive, ambition, study, ingenuity, resiliency & fortitude went into its creation. Thousands had a hand in getting that vaccine into my body.

It has been a pleasure to work at these employee vaccine clinics. Staffed by 30 volunteer colleagues per day, some who have been telling me for months that they wanted to help when it was time, the music plays and people are excited. “Joy was the only side effect”, Dr. Linder, Nebraska Medicine CEO, said on national t.v. last week. It’s true – we set up a selfie station so that joy could be captured and shared.

I personally did not have any side effects. I was expecting to feel a bit feverish and achy on Christmas Eve, but never did. Not even a sore arm. Whatever negative effects I may have had, would have been worth it. That much hope and relief feels like it should have cost my body more.

Now the work comes to get the vaccine out to everyone. The logistics hurt my head and hours of meetings trying to figure it out have me exhausted each night. But we are getting there, bit by bit. I do hope that when it’s your turn, you can feel what I felt – the gratitude for all that went into it, as well as the hope and relief.

Jamie Rudd is a member of First Central, a Registered Nurse at Nebraska Medicine, as well as Manager of Clarkson Family Medicine, Residency Program Administrator, and manager of the Universal Swab Center.