My week of overnights in the COVID ICU was a tough one. We had more deaths than I’ve had in my entire intern year so far. But I was lucky to be working with incredible teammates – most of the residents I worked with had also volunteered to be in the COVID ICU. More than ever, I’m grateful for the nurses and respiratory therapists, who spend more time in the patients’ rooms than any of us.
In a moment of quiet, I drew our fellow who donned a hood reminiscent of a medieval knight in order to intubate a patient who’d deliriously removed his own breathing tube (some COVID patients have needed extreme doses of medicine to stay sedated on the ventilators). It struck me as surreal as I watched everything take place through blinds and a thick pane of glass.