SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Sharp Memorial Hospital nurse Kailan Miller had just celebrated a bridal shower on March 8, 2020, and was looking forward to her wedding that may, when the WHO declared COVID-19 an official pandemic.
"It was very intimidating," Miller says. "It was very scary, basically, the fear of the unknown ... We went into lockdown, and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, we've been planning a wedding for a year, and now it's not going to happen.'"
In addition to canceling her wedding, Miller's floor at Sharp Memorial became a COVID-19 unit. She immediately began working with patients who had the deadly disease, seeing the full force of the pandemic up close.
"That was very hard as a nurse because your hands are almost tied," Miller says. "We didn't know what the right answer was, so that was extremely difficult."
"It's not an easy thing to do to see that many people die."
When Miller began to see changes in her mood, she looked for outlets to help cope. She started searching for a podcast about nurses and mental health.
"I couldn't find one," she says. "So, I was bored and thought, you know what, I'm going to start a podcast!"
With her computer, a Zoom account, and some tutorials on YouTube, Miller began "The Anxious RN." She invited friends, colleagues, and other experts to talk about mental health issues for frontline workers.
"I just reached out to other healthcare workers, either on Instagram or other platforms that were vocal about their mental health. And I just went for it," Miller says.
Since October, Miller has produced 19 episodes — each one has been downloaded a few hundred times, which is more than Miller ever imagined.
Through it, the podcast became therapeutic for herself and her listeners.
"It's so interesting to hear their stories and what people around the world are experiencing during this worldwide Pandemic," Miller says. "It's something that I never thought in a million years would happen."
Meanwhile, Miller and her fiancé, Dean, got married last May in a small, five-minute ceremony. They hope to have a bigger party once the pandemic ends.
Miller says she'll keep up the podcast, but she's not sure for how long. She's glad to know the archive will always be available to help anyone who needs it.
"I really want to open up the conversation about that, so people don't feel as taboo talking about it," she says. "I think if I can help one person, then I did my job. And that was the goal at the beginning of this."
The podcast is available on Spotify and other streaming services. Miller also says her listeners are free to email her at theanxiousrn.gmail.com.