I See You by Rachel Dratnol

To my fellow OTs,
the PTs and SLPs,
the nurses and NPs,
the PCTs and unit clerks,
the case managers and social workers,
the MDs and PAs,
the respiratory therapists and patient transporters,
the environmental services and engineering staff,
the lab and imaging techs,
the security team, valet workers, and parking garage staff,
the admin assistants, MAs, and front desk staff,
the cafeteria, Cafe, and ABP workers,
the volunteers, students and university faculty and staff,
the hospital leadership:
I see you. Coming to work. Self-monitoring. Donning the face mask, hospital-issued scrubs, yellow gown, gloves, and goggles. Conserving that valuable PPE as much as you can. Washing your hands – more times than you can count. Treating and caring for your patients to the best of your abilities. Practicing your craft via telehealth for the very first time. Socially distancing from your coworkers as you type your notes. Reading your email to learn what the numbers are that day and how the hospital is responding. Cleaning rooms, equipment, beds, and every other surface anyone comes into contact with. Discharging your patients to the safest place for them as soon as they are well enough. Doing the work that was not originally in your job description. Switching to a completely different role as the hospital needs. Working hard to make sure we flatten the curve and save as many lives as possible. Planning for something we know is coming but are not exactly certain to what extent. Transforming the hospital into something greater than we ever imagined.

I see you. Your anxiety. Your fear. Your fatigue. Your worries. Your questions. Your determination. Your strength. Your courage. Your love. Your patience. Your ability to rise up and do what is needed. Your loving care for your patients, coworkers, staff, and colleagues. Your wish for your patient to be strong enough to go home – today, tomorrow, next week, next month, whenever. Your prayer to make it through another day unscathed and see your loved ones at the end of it. Your dream to return the ‘normal’ hospital chaos. Your hope that eventually all will be well.
I see you. I am in awe of you. I thank you. — at Rush University Medical Center.

–Rachel and I had a Social Justice class at SLU in fall 2008.

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