An essential touch: How nurses become the family of patients with COVID-19 By: Johanes Roselló
An essential touch: How nurses become the family of patients with COVID-19
By: Johanes Roselló
An illness that took the life of her sister of three years, 31 years ago, is what somehow places this Guatemalan woman in a world historical moment using her hands to deliver much more than medicine.
Velveth Irene Sevilla is a nurse at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. She made a commitment 15 years ago to dedicate her days to serving the sick, but the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have given a new meaning to that concept that she learned in nursing school and has applied for more than a decade.
“This is such a challenging time for everybody, but as nurses, I think that we can make a huge difference and try to be there for the patients,” she said. They are going through such a difficult illness, but in addition to that, they are also far away from their families, which affect them tremendously. So as nurses we can be there for them in a more deep way.”
And it is that the level of contagion of the disease has forced hospitals to isolate these patients who face the illness without the accompaniment of their relatives and in many cases die far from their loved ones.
In this crisis scenario, health personnel have become the instruments that can transmit the human warmth that for Sevilla is essential for the physical and mental recovery of patients.
“Whenever I can, I hold their hand so they know that there is someone there that cares for them and that they feel that touch, because it is needed, as human beings we need that touch”, said Sevilla.
450 miles from Atlanta, Ana Pabón, a nurse in two hospitals in Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida, is taking care of patients with coronavirus.
“Through this time, we hold more hands, we encourage more, and if the patient allows it, we pray together. Our role is to take care of the patient physically and emotionally”, said the Puerto Rican nurse.
According to psychologist Heidy Guzmán, the human touch and gentle voice are fundamental to human communication, bonding and health.
“‘To touch is to give life’, said Michelangelo, reminding us that during these touch-deprived times, we are losing an important connection to each other and it might be crucial in the fight for life,” said Guzmán. “Research has shown that the touch of a doctor on a patient’s forehead or holding their hands may boost survival rates of patients with complex diseases.”
Healthcare workers, one of the many heroes of this pandemic, are giving another type of medicine in this complicated crisis.
“We need to provide care that will heal their emotions that will heal the mind and that is by providing a care word, a touch, a hug,” Sevilla added.
A lasting memory
The pandemic that Sevilla and so many other nurses are trying to combat today brings this nurse back to the place and time when another woman inspired her to join these ranks, without imagining that one day she would face an unprecedented crisis.
The memory takes her to Costa Mesa, California, where her little sister Jennifer with cerebral palsy was cared for by her mother with the help of a nurse named Laura.
“I remembered the type of relationship that she had with my mom, the type of relationship she had with my sister. It was impacting, it was humongous,” Sevilla said. “We felt cared for. And I always remember, I want to do that for my patients as well. I want them to feel that I care for them.”
The Above video is one of the entries from “In Time of COVID19 Video & Essay Contest”
We believe that the pandemic has generated a treasure trove of interesting stories, valuable and relevant contents about humanity in all its spectrums. Stories about generosity, heroism, kindness and outstanding services to fellow human beings on the other.
Ding Ding TV (Silicon Valley Innovation Channel and Voice of Asian Americans) , CLUSA together with 16 partners presented “In Time of COVID19 Video & Essay Contest” bringing these stories to our community and simultaneously acknowledge and honor their creators.
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