Men in Nursing

Men in Nursing 2020 – Critical Care Center RN, Thomas Bennett, PIH Health Whittier Hospital

Looking back on this year, what have been the biggest changes in your practice?

Having only just transitioned into my role in critical care this year, am I allowed to say “everything”?! I am thankful for the patience and understanding of my beautiful and long-suffering wife as I’ve navigated the challenges of stepping into a new role during a pandemic.

Tell us about the most inspirational thing you’ve experienced as a nurse during this pandemic.

One particularly busy shift began with one of my patients coding three times before 9 a.m. Another nurse, who wasn’t even scheduled to work on the COVID-19 unit that day, went above and beyond to support my patient’s family, who were unable to be at the bedside. This nurse carried a family member’s smartphone into the room so they could see their loved one a last time. When we couldn’t get the device to connect, a veteran respiratory therapist pulled out their own phone to enable the video call. It was a very moving experience. My patient died within the hour, but I am forever grateful to these other professionals who made that final connection possible.

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What nonmedical support from family, friends or the general public has been most appreciated?

Burritos! Seriously, we’ve been so grateful for the many people and businesses who’ve donated food for staff on the closed-cohort units.

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