HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Behind the number of COVID cases and deaths lie so many tragic and incredibly personal moments.
Often, it is healthcare workers who not only care for patients, but also help families cope with the grief of the loss of a loved one.
Today, a hospital is rewriting the rules to help family members say goodbye.
On Thursday, Adventist Heath Castle’s intensive care unit was in overcapacity. More than 80% of these patients are positive for COVID.
For 18 months, frontline caregivers have witnessed the effects of the virus.
“I see him every day. It is devastating. We are seeing more deaths than I have ever seen in my seven years here, ”said hospitalist and chief medical officer Dr Robert Smitson.
Joshua Almanza added: “Being in a hospice, being a chaplain has been very trying. “
Nonetheless, the comfort they provide to dying patients and their families is unwavering.
“What keeps me humble is that I can feel their pain and cry with them,” said Hospice Coordinator Sheri Richards.
Healthcare workers say one of the most tragic aspects of COVID is that so many patients are dying alone.
“Every time someone nears death, there are so many feelings. You want your loved ones to be there, ”Almanza said.
That’s why a new partnership between Adventist Health Castle and Bristol Hospice allows exceptions so family members can be at the bedside during these final moments.
“It’s basically a hospice, in the hospital, which we’ve never done before,” Smitson said.
Almanza said, “We’re here to maintain this space and allow people to feel what’s going on and celebrate a life well lived. “
It is also an opportunity to say goodbye.
“These are all tough conversations,” Richards said. “We mainly focus on comfort. “
Almanza called it an instrumental in the healing process.
“It’s so crucial to deal with what’s going on in the present,” he said. “But also to start the treatment of the bereavement that they will face in the future. “
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