She is giving her all to people who are fighting alone

She is giving her all to people who are fighting alone

Despite working an intensely trying twelve-hour shift in the COVID intensive care unit, registered nurse Steffany Reyna was not giving in.

She was staying by her patient’s side in the isolation room dressed in full protective equipment and holding her patient’s hand. With her other hand, Reyna was holding the phone to her patient’s ear so she could hear her children’s voices as they said their goodbyes.

“It’s been really tough for the ICU nurses, especially to have so many patients pass away over and over again after working so hard to keep them alive,” Reyna said. She has been caring for some of the sickest patients in the COVID intensive care unit at Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center since the pandemic began.

“One of the hardest parts about this pandemic has been the level of care these patients require,” Reyna. “I have seen patients be very sick for weeks on end with many setbacks along the way. It’s hard knowing that there is little that can be done other than giving their lungs time to heal and provide supportive care.”

With visitor restrictions in place, care providers play an even more important role since patients are alone.

“It so important to take the time to connect with my patients personally and spend time by their bedside since visitors are not allowed,” Reyna said. “It’s been hard to explain that to family members looking for updates that there isn’t anything else that we can do but wait for their loved one to get better.”

Reyna said she never would have imagined she’d be nursing during a pandemic.

“It has opened up a lot more conversations about end-of-life care and code status, which is a hard conversation to have,” she said. “I often have family of patients ask, what would you do if this was your family member?”

Personally, Reyna says it’s been difficult to separate her work from her family life. But she credits her tremendous coworkers who have been alongside her, working tirelessly, picking up extra shifts, and helping others out and for that she is so grateful.

“I would not be able to get through these workdays without my wonderfully smart and brilliant coworkers,” Reyna said. “We have really been there for one another and I’m proud to say that they are both friends and a second family to me.”

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Comments

5 Comments

  1. I hope all of you angels in health care, know how grateful all of us are. You are remarkable. Be safe. Be well. You are all in our prayers.

  2. Thank you and all of the others involved in end-of-life care. The fact that family and close friends can’t see their loved ones before they pass is the cruelest and most heart-breaking part of this pandemic.

  3. Steffany

    You are a hero as are all those who work in the medical field. Please know that there are millions of people who so appreciate all that you and your cohorts do each and every day.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  4. I just want Steffany and all the front line workers to know that you are so appreciated. YOU ARE ALL HEROES. The strength you all have to muster up each and every day to face it again is immense. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what you do. I am staying home and wearing a mask when out, for all of you!

  5. Wow Staffany, your story really moved me. Your courage and compassion is remarkable. Thank you and all the nurses who are caring for our sick COVID patients. You’re an inspiration and a blessing to the field of nursing. Best wishes.

About the Author

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Carla Basiliere

Carla Basiliere, health enews contributor, is a seasoned communications professional with over 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Carla has a BS degree in Mass Communications from the University of Minnesota Mankato. In her free time, Carla enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends.