Natasha Nazzaro, RN, Medical ICU
During the COVID-19 pandemic, although visitor restrictions are necessary to safeguard patients, visitors, staff and the community, it is difficult for patients in need of family support and for loved ones who can’t physically be present to provide that support. To overcome this obstacle, the Patient Experience and IT teams collaborated to provide iPads to each unit to aid in the visual communication between patients and families.
On the MICU, Natasha Nazarro, RN, was excited about receiving the iPads. She knew how important these devices were, especially for critical care patients. Natasha volunteered to take the lead in coordinating iPad and video chat usage for the unit. She came in twice a week on her days off to reach out to families and set up video chats between patients and their loved ones. This allowed family members to be “present” with their loved ones, many of whom were intubated. MICU leaders noted that iPad usage helped to decrease the number of calls to the nursing station because families of patients felt like they were actively involved in the care and are less anxious. The calls also brought huge smiles and positive responses from patients who were alert. In finding a “new normal” in this environment, staff have used creative ideas to ensure that we are always doing what is best for each of our patients and the people who love them. In order to fully illustrate the effect, please see the following note from the family of a MICU patient: ‘Dear Natasha, we have been deeply touched and humbled by the tender care you’ve showered on our uncle. You’ve truly displayed genuine patience and compassion toward him. During our video visits, we were able to witness how you tried to let him know he was not alone. Even though we could not be there, he knew he was loved through your touch. For this, we are eternally grateful.’ Mirroring the sentiments of this family, we all give kudos to Natasha for her loving and compassionate work.