Through all of this, she says she felt supported by her colleagues. She also said that gestures of gratitude were greatly appreciated by companies and families of employees.
“Going to the break room and seeing (donations of) donuts, coffee, and pizza … little things like this meant someone was paying attention,” she said.
The hardest times were watching patients deteriorate and go to intensive care, she said. “Some came back and some didn’t.”
Rewards came in the form of “relationship building and relationships with long-term patients,” Novak said.
The highlight, of course, was being with those who helped them get better. “It was emotional holding a patient’s hand as he or she walked down the hallway after taking long care of this person,” she said.
Today the COVID unit was switched off and Novak has returned to the “floater” status.
She said revised guidelines for patient visitors have significantly changed the atmosphere of the hospital.
“The hospital is busier than ever – even with a visitor in the room,” said Novak. “Just waving to someone in the hallway is a breath of fresh air.”
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