When family members can't stand by dying COVID-19 patient's side, nurses step in

Dying COVID-19 patients find comfort from nurses

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

AMANDA BAETSLE: Coming on shift, you never know if you're going to have patients that are stable and about to go home, or if you're about to have a patient and live through that experience again. This patient was a transfer from ICU. So they had been in the ICU, and they came to our floor.

When they came to the floor, I had talked to a family member. And they had wished to be able to video chat with them. Patti, the Respiratory Therapist and I, kind of just held the patient's hand and stroked his arm. And when I squeezed his third hand, I let them know it was their family member squeezing their hand.

[CRYING]

JENNIFER LUIKEN: Yeah, it meant-- it just means everything, really. That she would have enough-- that much empathy, doing something like that really, really means something to a family.

AMANDA BAETSLE: You know, I don't want to have to call people's families and tell them. I think your patient or your loved one is dying. Like, that's not my skill set either, you know? I'm not used to that. (SINGING) All of my past, Jesus, Lord of all.

JENNIFER LUIKEN: He was a man of God. Church was-- you know, the Lord is very important. He knew every hymn. You know, he just loved them so much. He was raised with hymn music and loved to sing it. Found a lot of meaning in it.

- (SINGING) Jesus, Lord of all.

- The Luiken Family singers. Together again!

[LAUGHS]

[BEEPS]

AMANDA BAETSLE: Seeing people die and being in the room when people die, it has made me really want people to have good deaths and to be more comfortable talking about death. OK. I'll be in there in a minute.

- Yeah, he would love to get that.

- I'll take that.

AMANDA BAETSLE: OK. How's your pain doing?

- Um, my chest is heavy.

AMANDA BAETSLE: You know, I'm just replaying everything and trying to wish it went differently, in a different way. But also feeling like I think these hard moments are going to make me eventually into a better nurse. I think it'll always be something you learn from and think about.

[MUSIC PLAYING]