Sickness and disease won’t stop when the holidays arrive, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic; public health officials expect numbers to increase rapidly. That leaves healthcare workers worldwide working over the holidays. KSBY’s Neil Hebert reports.
“Remember the people that are near and dear to you,” said Lori Boudreau, a critical care nurse at French Hospital in San Luis Obispo.
And be sure not to forget about those working tirelessly, caring for patients who have fallen ill.
“This last week has been the busiest time that we’ve had in our San Luis Obispo intensive care units since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Dr. Ross Michel, a pulmonary care physician for Dignity Health.
Michel has worked countless holidays throughout his career working in healthcare. He says he’s lucky to have a supportive family at home, and when he’s at work, especially during the holiday seasons.
“I’ve got a great crew that we work with. A lot of people here in the hospital – it’s been tough on our families as well, but they’ve been really supportive in that regard,” said Michel.
Both Michel and Boudreau are working Christmas Eve this year.
“I miss my families if I’m working on the holidays, but nurses have a pretty good schedule to where I do have some significant time off. So really, the time spent is found in other ways,” said Boudreau.
2020 has been nothing short of ruthless for healthcare workers across the globe, but Boudreau is grateful for the quality care put out by her team.
“It’s been hard seeing patients that have been so sick, but we have a great team at French Hospital; the intensive care doctors, my coworkers,” said Boudreau. “Everyone’s really pulling their weight and working together. It’s really the team that’s making it a good experience.”
If healthcare workers could ask for one thing during these holidays, the answer would likely be similar across the board.
“I really appreciate all of our community members trying to do the right thing. Probably the biggest gift they can give to us this holiday season is to keep all the patients and nurses in their thoughts, and to avoid getting the coronavirus if they can,” said Michel.