Health care heroes: A source of comfort
While Rev. Hans Martin Karrer is not caring directly for COVID-19 patients, the past several weeks have been extremely challenging for this Protestant pediatric staff chaplain at Advocate Children’s Hospital.
While helping families survive tragedy and face complex medical conditions with their children has been his calling for two years, Martin admits this new environment is complicated.
“It’s hard not to shake a parent’s hand or hug them in their pain,” says Martin. “Wearing PPE, when necessary or limiting family visitation; it is all just emotionally taxing for everyone. I miss lunches, sitting together with colleagues and sharing tips on resiliency.”
Part of Martin’s job is to be a source of comfort to his co-workers. COVID has created anxiety for fellow team members—all fearing they may bring something home to the ones they love. Martin shares that fear—he has a wife, a daughter and an elderly mother-in-law at home.
“I try to encourage people to look at not only what we’ve lost during this pandemic, but also what we have gained; like the chance to spend more time with family or gain a new appreciation of our homes,” he adds.
Martin says his calling doesn’t change no matter good times or bad. “This is where God put me at this time,” says Martin. “This is where I belong.”
About the Author
Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!