Avera Medical Minute: Health care heroes share stories of caring and coping

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 7:09 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -

As we reflect on 2020 and the incredible ways the Avera health care heroes have stepped up to the challenge, we provide you with their own insight. See and hear how these heroes offer care for patients while encouraging those they work with and find ways to cope:

“I do the swabbing, the testing. I get a fair share of grateful, scared, and just over it,” Jennifer Miller, COVID test collection site-Sioux Falls

“Sometimes the CNAs in long-term care are the forgotten souls. We are all working extra hours, and we are an extended family here for our residence.” Jackie Pendergraft, Dow Rummel Village-Sioux Falls

“Sometimes I’m wondering. Oh did I wipe this off, did I wipe that off? I encourage the patients that are, you know, kind of losing their courage, they’re trying to give up.” Barb Knudtson, Avera McKennan custodian

“When you’re down and other people, step up and do their jobs so well, it gives you the energy to, you know, keep going. We kind of lean on each other. Again, our co-workers, try to keep ourselves optimistic, to get us through this, and we try to tell each other, let’s take it one day at a time.” Dr. Tejaswini Vasamsetty, Avera McKennan hospitalist

“It’s so hard to tell family members, they can’t see their loved one in their most dire time of need. Will hold their hand, we’ll be there for them in every step that we can.” Carly Hohman, ICU nurse Avera McKennan

“It’s just been a hard hit after a hard hit and it is just, it’s heartbreaking. Even though it’s heartbreaking and even though it is so hard. You can balance those with the overwhelming joy, you know, watching somebody come into the world and watching somebody get better and leaving.” Lindee Miller, ICU Nurse Avera St. Mary’s-Pierre

“This is part of history something that hopefully we probably don’t ever have to go through again but something that I’m sure everyone will remember as part of their career. Pandemic or not I think anytime you make somebody’s life better, there’s no way that’s not rewarding.” Chelsea Hanson, Avera St. Luke’s Nurse-Aberdeen.

“Our typical day now is very overwhelming. Our call volume is very high. We just need to hunker down and be safe and, help take care of our community, because it’s not going to take care of itself if we don’t do those guidelines that we’re recommending.” Darcy Purdy, Avera at Home

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