By Karen S. Gorby, RN, MSN, MBA, CENP, FACHE
Nothing in our life is as it was when 2020 started, and we’ve all heard jokes about what else the year might have in store for us in terms of unwelcome surprises. I have seen how the effects of COVID-19 have impacted our staff both professionally and personally. They have been put to the test in many ways during the past year.
Bravery is seen in the flexibility and resourcefulness of our team. They worked all year with frequently changing care protocols while never hesitating to shift care practices as we learned more about COVID-19. They have, without fail, stepped up time and time again to learn new practices and policies, even while continuing the high quality of care they provide.
Our caregivers and staff never questioned keeping our patients as their top priority. The staff did all they could to help their patients deal with an uncertain illness that isolated them from their families. They helped the families deal with the more stringent visitor restrictions that were put in place due to the pandemic.
I witnessed the team’s adaptability, especially when it came to the changes we had to make to the hospital environment, and how we did things each day. They didn’t flinch as we enacted COVID-19 screening requirements for all who entered the hospital, mandated the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) for caregivers, and added complexity to their daily tasks, such as instituting preoperative COVID testing for patients scheduled for surgery.
The heroes of Angel Medical Center have had their coping skills tested, their versatility expanded, and their flexibility stretched to lengths never before demanded.
AMC’s amazing team has shown me what heroes are really made of: grit, selflessness, openness to collaboration, curiosity, and a level of commitment that is unparalleled. The AMC caregivers and staff have always been exemplary professionals, but what I have seen this year brought the depth of their courage and character home in a way I would never have seen if we hadn’t been faced with this formidable challenge. I offer my heartfelt and humble thanks to our special Angel Medical Center team.
Karen S. Gorby, RN, MSN, MBA, CENP, FACHE, is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer of Angel Medical Center.