ICU team holding Thank You sign.

Caregiver Perspective

As Sequoia Hospital and its staff address the needs of our community in the face of COVID-19, Katrin Anderson, RN, who has worked at the hospital for 23 years, says she believes the hospital is managing well.

Anderson works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where she reports that additional staff, brought in from other departments, means extra hands and enhanced collaboration and care for patients. Plans have been prepared to expand the ICU’s capacity if necessary and nurses from other units are being trained to perform specific procedures for a surge of additional patients.

On an individual level, those who work in the hospital are used to knowing what to expect from specific illnesses. Training exists to prepare even for the unexpected, but COVID-19 is different. It is unpredictable and the medical community is still learning daily. Caregivers in the ICU and throughout the hospital experience the same emotional ups and downs as those outside the building. Moments of being scared and nervous are balanced, however, by the knowledge that a great team and great co-workers will get you through.

In the end “we just do it,” Anderson says. “We care for patients. This is what we signed up for.”

If there is a silver lining, according to Anderson, it is the overwhelming outpouring of support from the community. From the thank you notes from children that hang in the ICU break room to the deliveries of meals, and hand-sewn masks, there has been widespread support. Anderson also recognizes the support of her coworkers throughout the hospital – nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists – who are working on the frontlines to care for Sequoia’s patients.