“Yes, there are some very sick COVID patients here today,” Gribler said.
Gribler works in the COVID intensive care unit at Valleywise Health Medical Center, which recently reopened a second COVID unit due to an increase in patient numbers. According to the state’s Coronavirus Dashboard, COVID hospitalizations remain well below their January high and among the lowest since the state began tracking the metric.
“It’s always one of those things where you come to work every day and don’t know what to expect,” she said.
Many of Gribler’s patients remain in his memory.
“There have been a few instances where I have worn the phone to a patient’s ear while they are receiving their final rites over the phone,” she said. “It’s just heartbreaking. There is no way to describe it. You can’t help but sit there and cry with them. “
Thursday marked National Nurses Day and Valleywise Health saw an influx of flowers thanks to Albertsons and Safeway.
“It was really cool, they were so happy,” said nurse manager Regina Villa. “We gave it to every nurse, not every nurse, but every nurse we met. It was nice. They felt happy, there were a lot of smiles.
Still, Villa told ABC15 that the pandemic continues to strain the system, with staff shortages, the continued number of COVID patients and staff fatigue.
ABC15 asked what made her move forward.
“What else are we going to do? »Said Villa. “It’s not what keeps us going as if we have no choice but to keep going. There is no other option because who else is going to do it? “
Even though the number of coronavirus patients is not what it was months ago, Gribler can identify some situations that have remained with him.
“One patient in particular that comes to mind… she didn’t want to be intubated, but she got to the point where she really felt like she couldn’t breathe and the doctors basically told her, like if we don’t intubate you, there’s a chance you won’t be able to get out of here, ”she said. “She asked if she could call her family and say goodbye to her and they said yes, and she did, and we are all standing watching as she is facing her family.”
This would be the last time the patient spoke with his relatives.
“She ended up not being successful,” Gribler said, growing emotional. “It’s things like that, it’s just… it’s real. “
Despite the rough days, Gribler said she was proud of what she and her colleagues were doing.
“I wouldn’t do anything else,” she said. “I wouldn’t change that for the world. This work, anyway. “