Amisha Parekh de Campos
PhD, MPH, RN, CHPN
Amisha Parekh de Campos PhD, MPH, RN, CHPN, is a nurse researcher, leader, and clinician, who has, like so many others, been professionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nursing was a second career for Amisha. She started working in public health as a program planner and advisor, but she missed the firsthand experience of directly working with people and went back to school for her BSN. She spent a year in a neuro-trauma setting, gaining valuable acute care experience, before moving on to palliative and hospice homecare.
“I am incredibly passionate about the work that I do in palliative and hospice care. Not only do I have the opportunity to care for patients during a critical time in their lives, but I am also able to be a leader and mentor to new nurses, and advocate for this profession. I look forward to using my experience to teach nurses starting in the profession and hopefully instill in them the same passion and drive,” she said.
Her nursing practice has changed dramatically since the pandemic began. She has been asked to help with COVID positive and suspected COVID patients—a significant shift to directly working with rapidly deteriorating patients. Over the years, she has worked in many roles in a hospice homecare program, including field nurse, community liaison, supervisor, and now, as quality and education coordinator. Now, she works several evenings a week on top of her current role, assisting with these very ill patients because of staff shortages. “I am grateful to be able to provide care and support to these patients when their loved one cannot be present,” Amish said. “It has been a quick transition as changes on recommendations and declines among patients were so rapid, but the team of healthcare clinicians I work with is incredible and inspiring.”
As a mother to a 6- and 8-year-old, one of her greatest challenges is balancing work, school, and home life. She feels an obligation to help as a nurse during this time, but her biggest fear is infecting her family. “To help our home situation,” she said, “I sleep on a different floor and try not to share too many household items with the rest of the family. It has been hard not being able to hug and touch my kids constantly, but I am glad I can contribute to care for these very ill patients.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has also influenced Amisha’s research in advance care planning and communication. “Now more than ever,” she said, “conversations about end-of-life goals and preferences are imperative. The fast pace of the virus among the elderly has shown how important it is to have advance care planning discussion early and often.” She successfully defended on 20 April 2020 and now holds a PhD in nursing. She has been member of Sigma’s Mu Chapter for 10 years.
Amisha joined Sigma because she heard about Sigma’s member benefits—networking, resources, and educational opportunities—but found much more. She also “found a sense of camaraderie and cohesiveness among Sigma nurses.” At the 45th Biennial Convention she presented her research. “Meeting nurses from around the world, discussing programs of research and collaborating was a unique and unforgettable experience. There is a certain sense of pride being among all these accomplished nurses who strive to enhance the profession.”
As she continues to persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic, Amisha looks forward to continuing to work in palliative and hospice care as well as teaching and inspiring the same passion and drive she has in new nurses.