RE: We are still figuring it out. When the pandemic began, New York City was hit first and worst. It’s been lifechanging and devasting. We didn’t know what we were dealing with. I had never been physically scared at work before then, aside from 9/11. We weren’t certain we would have enough resources. It was a day-by-day race with the virus. We worried about our own safety as well as the safety of others. This deeply affected all of us and we are still recovering.
We had to learn to be authentic and transparent about how we were feeling. We had to normalize people feeling vulnerable or at times, not having the patience they needed. Although we didn’t have all the answers, we built ICUs just like that, stood up telemedicine just like that. We learned we can change faster than we thought we could.
We also learned that human presence at the bedside is critical. There was real harm done to patients, loved ones and our teams without it. People being with their loved ones means so much in healthcare. We may have undervalued that before and we have to maintain that in the future.