In 2013, The Cleveland Clinic’s CEO-Dr. Toby Cosgrove shared a powerful video with the staff during his State of the Clinic address.

The moving video portrayed healthcare experiences through the thoughts and observations of patients, families, and providers alike.  This video is even more impactful today as the ravages of COVID-19 continue to sicken our communities, take lives not fully lived, and leave our healthcare workers weary.  

As nurse advocates serving through the pandemic, we find ourselves uniquely positioned to bring support and empathy to the entire medical team.  Sitting at the bedside of a dying patient, we offer comfort to the family as we monitor the comfort of the patient.  Care conferences with the ICU nurse and physician team lends an opportunity to encourage and support them through the loss of yet another COVID patient.  Gently taking the lead from the physician when the family/caregivers struggle to understand the medical terms and next steps provides relief for the physician to move on to their next patient, next procedure.  Working as a team during this pandemic is a privilege.

Having empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.  As the Cleveland Clinic’s video portrayed, we are all human with our own unique life experiences as we journey through healthcare together.  Nurse advocates walk the bridge between patients/families and providers, keeping clear perspective of individual needs while attending to the tasks at hand.  Simply caring.

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