As a palliative care nurse, Tim Nicaise knows how important it is to communicate with a patient’s loved ones when they are facing a life-threatening illness. When COVID-19 hit and visitor restrictions went into place, that communication became even more vital.
“People couldn’t be at the bedside to see their loved one face-to-face,” Tim said. “We had to find other ways to provide compassionate, open and honest reassurance that we were doing everything we could to take care of them.”
Tim made himself available to families 24/7 over the phone, but he knew people needed to see their loved one to feel fully connected. He and his team started using iPads during check-in calls to video chat with family members.
“You could just hear the fear in their voices because they couldn’t see what was happening for themselves,” Tim said. “We’d set up a time so I could show them how someone looked and how they were feeling even if it was difficult to see.”
Tim dedicated himself to helping every patient in any way possible during the COVID-19 surge, which meant putting his fear aside and bringing a positive attitude in a very bleak environment.
“You can’t erase hope,” he said. “We put our heart and soul into the care of these patients because we had to be a trusted and calming voice for families and have empathy for those patients that couldn’t speak for themselves.”