Michele Lecardo, RN
Stroke Reviewer, The Joint Commission
Michele Lecardo shares how she and her co-workers care for patients even when the disease is hard to understand.
Determination in the face of fear and uncertainty
“The whole hospital has been asked to reorganize and re-strategize in a very short period of time. It’s hard since we are being asked to do things we never really had to do before. And that goes for all hospital staff.”
“The majority of the changes have been positive, but we are scared. Not being able to understand why one patient is doing well and another isn’t, is hard. For example, a patient with a history of a transplant is on the road to recovery, but a 30-year-old with no prior health history did not make it. Those are the questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis because normally by now we would have a pattern of treatment or would need to adjust treatment based off of this circumstance or that. But we don’t have that yet. We’re treating everyone primarily on the same medications everyone has been using nationally and following all the same CDC recommendations.”
“We have had a lot of patients who have not gotten better and a handful that have. I think that’s meaningful to us health care providers, as we are holding on tighter to the wins than we ever used to because those are what’s keeping us going through the next couple of days when we might not have successful recoveries. We’re holding onto those patients who did really, really well and remembering them to give us the ammunition to continue to fight for the rest. When we see them get better that gives us the boost we need to go on. If I see one patient get better, I have more energy for the next 25 I have to care for. It gives me the feeling that we can do this.”
“In order to cope better, I make sure I’m not working 7-days a week. I make sure I take one day to decompress. Whether I sleep all day or play with my child, it’s necessary but it’s hard. I want to be at the hospital helping everyone. I know that might sound crazy, because you would think that I should be running from the fires. But truly on those days that I take for myself, because I know I have to, I really feel like I should be at work. I feel like I should be there helping.”