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What it means to be a team

Pediatric nurse Danielle was among the first to volunteer to help on the adult side in the fight against COVID-19.

COVID-19 is bringing out the best in team members across Advocate Aurora Health. At Advocate Children’s Hospital, several nurses, physicians and respiratory therapists have stepped up and volunteered to work in COVID-19 units in other Advocate hospitals.

Danielle is a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit at Advocate Children’s Hospital and was among the first to volunteer to help on the adult side in the fight against COVID-19.

“I felt compelled to help my fellow nurses, some I know personally,” she says. “Everyone has had to learn new policies, procedures and expectations on the fly. It can be stressful at times to be part of the unknown. We are discovering more about the virus and how to treat it every day.”

Danielle says caring for COVID patients has been eye-opening, and at times, emotional.

“You do your best to be careful to use your personal protective equipment and keep yourself safe. We don’t want to bring the virus home to our families. But you also have to be present and brave for your patients. They’re alone in the hospital at a scary time. In some ways, it’s harder to come to work knowing the battle goes on, bringing with it uncertainty of what might be required of team members that day. In other ways, nurses and all health care workers have formed a new bond over this common goal to fight COVID. Everyone is doing their best to look out for one another and support each other while we fight.”

Ashley is another pediatric nurse who’s now volunteering to work with adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

For the past 11 years, Ashley Slazes has cared for patients and their families in the pediatric intensive care unit at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge. Now, she’s volunteering to work in our adult COVID units. She says the pandemic has changed not only the way we work but also how we live our lives.

“I feel more appreciative and grateful for my family and friends, especially my kids and husband. They would probably tell you I hug and kiss them way too much now!” said Ashley. “This has really put everything into perspective – what is and isn’t important in life. I’m so thankful to have such supportive family, friends and coworkers. They make these difficult times much more bearable.”

And six pediatric critical care medicine physicians from Advocate Children’s Hospital are providing care in the medical intensive care unit at Advocate South Suburban Hospital. They are Drs. Rani Ganesan, Deanna Behrens, Travis Matics, Kara Von Zychlin, Amanda Ellis-Pelletier and Vinod Havalad. The physicians say the real heroes are the incredible team members they’re working with at South Suburban.

How you can help

You can support our team members, our patients and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. To get started, please visit our online resource center.