(INTERMOUNTAIN HEALTHCARE) – In response to the growing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Utah, Intermountain Healthcare is launching a new public service campaign that goes behind the closed doors of its intensive care units to help the public better understand the human toll and impact that rising cases of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are having on exhausted caregivers and patients.
The emotional public service campaign features video from Intermountain ICUs and vignettes of frontline caregivers sharing experiences of caring for ill COVID-19 patients since last March.
A three-minute PSA spot will air Wednesday night (Oct 21) on all four local networks during 9 and 10 o’clock newscasts. The PSA video will be part of a broader social media campaign, and will also be posted on YouTube in English and Spanish.
During a Zoom news conference on Wednesday morning, a portion of the video will be shown, and doctors, nurses, and other frontline caregivers from Intermountain will discuss what it’s like working in the ICU caring for COVID-19 patients and why they need help from the community to reduce the surging number of patients being hospitalized in Utah.
Michelle Marshall is a shock trauma ICU nurse at Intermountain Medical Center.
“We just want you to know when you can’t visit we’re there for you. That’s our role. That’s what we love about being nurses and we take care of those who can’t take care of themselves,” Michelle Marshall, RN said.
But around the clock care in a pandemic is taking an enormous toll on the lifesaving team in the emergency room.
“I consider myself to be relatively resilient and so I kind of thought I’d handle this better. Even with myself, it’s a grind. You work really hard and do the best you can under these situations and circumstances and it doesn’t seem to let up and I see it in my staff you see it chip away at them. It feels like we are at those levels of crisis mode,” Sean Talley, RN said.
Sean Talley is a nurse manager over a team of registered nurses in the shock trauma ICU at Intermountain Medical Center.
He says the burn out is real and so are the number of dwindling beds which become a constant agonizing worry.
“As these case counts and our hospital is full, our floor is full. We do that shuffle and get them stable. Before you even have the room clean you already have someone slated to come in. That does make you worry and scares ya,” Talley said.
“Am I going to have to move people out to make room for other patients, am I going to have the really sick ones who can’t have their family with them. Not only am I their nurse but I’m their sister, their mother everything all those roles of people who cant be there. I go home they don’t understand,” Michelle, RN said.
Michelle is frustrated that people are not following social distancing guidelines including wearing masks. She says it’s a safety measure just like buckling your babies in the car seat.
“I’m not saying you are going to be the one that’s going to be in my hospital in my ICU bed. But you don’t know if that one split second of not having the mask or the car seat is going to be what’s going to bring you to me to take care of. Why wouldn’t you. It makes me so mad. How many times do we have to get on this camera to tell you it’s real? How many times do we have to tell you to wear a mask before you realize its real. it’s so frustrating. You may be one of the lucky ones that doesn’t get the really bad symptoms and that’s great, I am so grateful for that but you may not, you may be one of the ones who comes and see me. I’ll do everything I can to make sure you’re ok and get through this but it’s really frustrating when there’s something as simple as wearing mask,” Michelle said.