Spiritual care team assisting COVID-19 patients

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - At Renown Regional Medical Center staff treat all kinds of illnesses including COVID-19. In addition to doctors and nurses there are other heroes that are putting their lives on the line.

Renown has strict guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19, which makes it difficult to have visitors. Sean Savoy, Spiritual Care Manager, said his team is focused on providing a connection between patients and their families.

"The Spiritual Care providers are almost the unseen heroes of the front line workers here at the hospital, besides doctors and nurses, who have to go into those rooms to see COVID positive patients and often be with them during their last moments,” said Savoy.

For Spiritual Care Workers, technology has been a critical element to offer emotional support. Marie Fuhrken, Spiritual Chaplain, said holding a phone for someone who is on the verge of passing away is one of the most difficult parts of her job.

"That they don’t feel alone, that they know that there are people that care about them, that their family hasn't abandoned them that the caregivers haven’t abandoned them, that we are all in this together and we will be with them for the extent of the fight," Fuhrken explained.

The spiritual team also looks out for our medical workers, especially when they have lost a patient.

"We sit down with them to help them process their grieving, so they can set that down and take care of the next person without the extra baggage," said Fuhrken.

The battle isn't easy, but these caregivers hope to continue making the process more tolerable.

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