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Post-Intensive Care Syndrome and the Role of Chaplains
REV. CHELSEA LEITCHER, MDiv, BCC
Catholic Health Association of the United State
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Today, a patient was discharged after an extended stay in the hospital. As we do for many patients who have survived COVID-19, we celebrated the patient's discharge. Staff who had cared for the patient lined the halls — smiling, clapping and some even had tears in their eyes. There were balloons, and a celebratory song was played over the loudspeaker as the nurse wheeled the patient to their spouse, who was eager and ready to take their loved one home at last. As a hospital chaplain, I know the value of having a case like this patient, to the family, certainly, but also to the medical community. When illness feels overwhelming, having someone who was so sick recover so beautifully changes the mood of all those who worked with them. For many staff in our hospital, this patient was our miracle — that ray of hope that reminded us even the sickest person can get better.
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