One of the best aspects of my residency program includes the ability to rotate with our intensive care unit (ICU) team to increase our learning opportunities given the acuity of our patients. What makes our rotation this year even more challenging is working through a pandemic especially in California, one of the states experiencing high surges in COVID-19 cases with close to 0% ICU capacity.
To be perfectly honest, the days are long, the patients are sick, and there isn’t a day that goes by without a death. What most people don’t see are the physicians and other members of the health care team that are over-worked daily, taking care of more patients than you can imagine. What’s not shown on the news are the multiple phone calls made to families who have to make extremely hard decisions regarding the goals of care of their patients. I can recall the numerous times I have had to pronounce a 20 something year old without any past medical history or working without social workers to find the family for an 80 some year old without an advance directive who is in critical condition.
Even with all this hardship, we are still hopeful. We are hopeful with the initiation of new leadership. We are hopeful that the implementation of social distancing, the implementation of mandatory quarantine, and the ever-evolving research regarding approved medication we can overcome this pandemic. What is exciting during this time is the many trials and research done by numerous institutions regarding ways to manage this disease. I am so privileged to work as a healthcare provider during this memorable time during our lives despite the daily challenges that I face with my fellow healthcare providers. Remember that together we are stronger!