Stepping up for COVID-19 redeployment from MHC

When COVID-19 was straining Manitoba’s health-care system Tara Soares answered the call. Tara, a health-care aide, usually works in Misericordia’s Eye Care Centre of Excellence surgical complex and at the Buhler Eye Care Centre clinics.
For about two months last spring, she joined several other nurses and health-care aides from Misericordia at the Grace Hospital to help care for ICU patients, including COVID-19 patients.
“Most of them were ventilated, those were the ones that really needed our help,” said Tara.
She says the first day felt overwhelming, but she wanted to help however she could.
“There were so many critically sick people. I’ve never seen so many IVs come out of one person before.”
She worked with COVID-19 patients who were kept in a medically-induced coma while they were on ventilators. Together with a team she provided hygiene, mouth care, range of motion exercise and body turning to prevent bedsores. They also repositioned patients in ways to take pressure off their lungs and increase their chance of recovery.
She says it was sad to see patients so sick and family unable to be with them, but she recalls how health-care workers would bring iPads to create connection with loved ones.
“Even on the ventilators, sometimes people would just talk to them and hope that they could hear them or play music. Or doctors would do their rounds and include the family in that and let them see the patient.”
COVID-19 claimed some lives while she was redeployed. Tara says she coped with these moments by keeping a positive attitude and helping create positive outcomes.
“There were sad moments. But there were also good ones as well. When somebody was getting their ventilator tube taken out, like, it was a victory. It was nice to see.”

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