How your support helps team members adapt during a crisis

Nurse Erica Berry (bottom, far left) with other team members at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed care in ways no one could predict. Erica Berry, a Patient Care Manager at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, has had to adapt as a nurse in ways she never imagined.

Erica says adapting an orthopedic unit to treat coronavirus patients within a matter of hours was an uncanny task. And, even more importantly, this “new normal” has created unexpected boundaries to providing care. Due to the risk of infection, team members now have to limit exposure to patients in ways they weren’t used to before.

“We like to see our patients often and talk to them. We enjoy building connections, and now we had to keep doors closed,” Erica shared.

Thankfully, generous donors provided Erica’s team with iPads to help bridge the divide. She describes this as a “game changer.” One patient requested that team members say hello every time they passed by her room, which they did.

“The patient absolutely loved it. It made her feel like she knew everyone and was part of the crew. We could now communicate with her as much as we wanted,” Erica says.

Her team also provided end-of-life care to several patients. The tablets now enabled the patients to spend more time with their families when personal connection was needed most.

“One patient’s wife would call and sing to her dying husband daily. It was a heartbreaking situation, but also so comforting for the wife to be able to see her husband’s face and for him to hear her voice,” Erica says.

To put it simply, adapting to this virus has been difficult for many health care workers. But the generosity of the community has helped team members like Erica keep going.

“The tablets were a welcome surprise in the midst of what seemed like a storm of uncertainty. The community support has really made me proud to be a health care provider,” Erica shares.

What your support has meant to our team members:

“It was so encouraging to walk out of a room and see donated food after having a really rough day. Something unexpected like that really boosts your morale and helps motivate you,” – Samantha Puhl, IU Medical and Surgical Nursing Assistant

“I knew we were part of a great community, but I believe I took some of that for granted — until now. The prayers, the parade, the donations of food, snacks and supplies. Thank you for making a difference in our lives so we can turn around and make a difference in our patients’ lives,” Carla LaFever, Chief Clinical Services Officer, Aurora Medical Center Grafton.

Donors like you express gratitude:

“All of us at Kapco have deep admiration and gratitude for our friends at Aurora Health Care who are among the health care heroes putting their own safety at risk for the sake of our families,” – Jim Kacmarcik, President of Kapco, Inc.

“We are happy to be able to make a donation that we hope will help keep you safe and relieve some of the burden health care workers are facing daily. We thank the professionals at Aurora Medical Center Grafton for all they do for our community,” – Ion Warner, VP of Marketing & Investor Relations, The Manitowoc Company