“With COVID, patients are apart from their families for a long time. To address this problem, Information Technology gave us some iPads so people could communicate with their loved ones. But it’s not the same as in person. I especially remember one of our first patients, a husband and a dad in his mid-30s. When he was finally off the ventilator and we were actually able to get his wife and his kids face to face with him, so they could talk to each other, it was like the clouds opened up. We were all so happy. I met him and his wife again recently, and they expressed their gratitude to everyone who saved his life. That was truly fulfilling.
“Critical care staff unfortunately have to be experts in end-of-life care as well. I’m grateful that we have been able to safely allow families to spend last moments together when someone is dying. It’s been very tough when patients pass away. But the hospital has made grief counseling available to us, along with resiliency support. That has been tremendously beneficial to me and my team members.
“But please let me make one thing clear: By myself, I am nothing in this ICU. I am simply representing everybody who has cared for these patients — nurses, doctors, respiratory therapy, nutrition, housekeeping, the whole conglomerate who had to bridge the gap between the lack of knowledge about this disease and our ability to provide excellent patient care in a time of historic need. Hundreds of people are part of this effort, and I thank each one of them for their continued dedication, hard work, and support.”