COVID-19 has put many pressures on frontline teams, including those that support intensive care units (ICU). Registered nurse Jennifer Hamilton says the ICU team at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital has risen up to meet the challenges of the pandemic.
“It’s been extremely difficult for all ICU staff, but our team has come together to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in a positive way.”
She says one of the key challenges is adapting to visitor guidelines that have impacted families. “Our team has arranged for daily virtual visits between the patients and their family, and that is largely carried out by the nurses.”
Throughout the pandemic and her five years as an ICU nurse, she has experienced many career-affirming moments.
“ICU is the highest level of care that a patient requires or needs. So it’s rewarding because you can see how your quick action and skills can lead to a positive outcome for your patient,” she says.
Work in the ICU is complex and often involves seeing subtle changes and improvements that happen during the patient’s overall care journey. “ICU is about caring for patients and their family as they make steps forward and supporting them even if that doesn’t happen.”
Jennifer enjoys sharing her knowledge as well as learning from clinical colleagues. She explains that ICU nurses work collaboratively with other disciplines to create a plan of care for each patient. “To be part of this discussion and interdisciplinary collaboration is a really interesting aspect of ICU.”
She is currently doing her master’s degree in nursing.
“I think nursing is a long-term career for me. The ICU has opened my eyes and presented opportunities for a lot of different areas and different perspectives of health care.”
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