Bill Paige, Emergency Department Supervisor, Dignity Health St. Mary Medical Center

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

We’ve had to come up with entire new processes to take care of patients safely during the pandemic. Even the new processes have evolved: moving supplies out of the rooms and into the hallways; the ways we gown up and use PPE; having patients wait outside; and even erecting temporary walls to section off areas of the emergency department to use as “hot zones.”

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

Early on, a fellow employee came to the ER with difficulty breathing. She had to be intubated and spent a long time recovering in our hospital. She called recently after being discharged and thanked us for saving her life.

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

People’s capacity to care has been amazing to see — both coworkers and the public. We have so many restaurants, organizations and individuals who send us food or donate supplies they’ve been able to acquire. At the beginning of the pandemic, when N95 masks were next to impossible to find, I came home from work one evening to find a new box of N95 masks on my front porch, dropped off by a friend of mine with a note saying to stay safe.

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