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The Nurses at Marina del Rey Hospital, Striving to Limit Exposure to Coronavirus

Daniel Marcus';

By Daniel Marcus

Posted on April 27th, 2020 in Departments

COVID-19 NurseAs the coronavirus pandemic spreads through the world at a rapid pace, the United States remains the country with the largest number of cases. Nearly 1 million residents have contracted the new virus so far. In California, there are over 40,000 cases of coronavirus and the number is growing with each day. As a consequence, hospitals are struggling to provide healthcare to people who became infected with coronavirus and limit exposure to reduce the spread of the new virus. Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital is no exception. Our medical team has been working relentlessly to promptly offer quality healthcare to sick people, whether they struggle with coronavirus infection or another condition. Because it is very easy to contract the new virus from a hospital, limiting exposure is a crucial strategy, which is one of our top priorities during the pandemic.

The nurses working on the front lines at Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital have been striving to attend to every patient who comes to the hospital with coronavirus infection. These patients need immediate medical attention due to the health complications which may ensue if they fail to receive adequate healthcare. Working as a team, our Intensive Care Unit nurses do everything in their power to help patients settle in upon admission in the hospital before the pandemic. Nowadays, however, the situation is different, as they have to limit exposure as much as possible to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. “It kind of feels like we've got our hands tied behind our back because the second we get a new patient everyone wants to run in the room and help settle the patient in, but we can't”, says ICU nurse Lauren Yamashita. The number of nurses who are in charge of taking care of coronavirus patients has doubled at Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, as there are numerous people who suffer from severe infection with the new virus and need constant monitoring.

Nevertheless, our experienced nurses have come up with novel ways of working as a team, such as taking out the trash from the room of the patients so that their environmental services colleagues would not have to make unnecessary trips and writing notes on door windows to request help or additional supplies. Surprisingly, these gestures have proven to be crucial steps in limiting exposure. “We don't want to open the doors more than we need to”, ICU nurse Lauren Yamashita says.

Despite the challenging and dire situation the coronavirus pandemic has brought upon Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our nurses remain optimistic and enjoy working as a team, as more and more co-workers from different healthcare departments of the hospital join them in their effort to provide effective and prompt care to the people who need it. By virtue of the extra help our nurses receive, they also have time for keeping the family members of the patients struggling with coronavirus infection up to date with their condition. Our nurses have made a habit of calling the family members of coronavirus patients at the end of the day to provide them with a detailed update of the condition of their loved one, answer their questions and address their concerns. This seemingly common act actually means a lot to the families of the patients infected with the new virus, as it relieves stress and anxiety to a great extent.

Another nurse working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic at Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, Irine Quintas, emphasizes the essential role technology plays during this awful crisis. To make their hospital stay easier and to alleviate their loneliness, nurses offer coronavirus patients the opportunity to constantly keep in touch with their family by giving them smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, they use this technology to communicate with patients within the hospital, which significantly limits exposure. “We try to provide them with a charger if their cell phones run out of battery, just little things like that”, Irine Quintas says.

On the bright side, a considerable number of people who contracted the new virus recovered and were subsequently discharged from the hospital to return to their families. Numerous former coronavirus patients are very grateful for the healthcare they received during their stay at Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, as well as for the calm and compassionate environment the medical team created. “We've discharged some of our patients home and they send us back messages, thanking us for talking to them and encouraging them during a difficult time”, ICU nurse Irine Quintas says.