Simulations operations specialist Ashley Haug has picked up countless shifts on the COVID-19 units throughout the pandemic.
She has seen heartache and tragedy, as well as incredible and inspiring work by Kootenai Health’s care teams.
One story that stands out to her happened in mid-September.
“We often don’t realize how lonely patients are,” Ashley said. “Their rooms may be filled throughout the day with nurses, doctors, CNAs or medical assistants, etc. doing assessments, administering meds, cleaning, managing pumps, drips, tubes and cords, all of the things that go along with being in critical care.
“But they are missing the physical touch and connection with their friends, family, and loved ones.”
One night, a particular patient was having a lot of anxiety and couldn’t fall asleep.
“She expressed feeling lonely and just wanting to feel someone’s hand,” Ashley said. “One of the nurses on her team pulled up a chair next to her and offered to hold her hand until she fell asleep. He sat next to her at the bedside and held her hand inside both of his and comforted her. He stayed next to her until she fell asleep.
“These are the moments that deserve recognition,” Ashley continued. “We are all busy, overwhelmed, overworked and burnt out. But we are still showing up, looking beyond the ‘work list’ and going above and beyond the assignment to truly care for our patients and focus on who they are as people, rather than just their clinical needs.
“It is incredible to see the resiliency and compassion that these nurses, doctors and care staff continue to show for our patients who are tired, anxious and terrified. I’m proud to be a part of this team.”
Ashley Haug has worked at Kootenai Health for more than seven years.