Their unit has about a dozen tablets with Zoom and FaceTime capabilities.
“Once they see their family member on the other side of the iPad, their eyes just light up,” said Gardner.
The calls can range from a couple of minutes to upwards of an hour. The nurses say these calls are very intimate moments between the patient, their families and the nurses.
“It’s very difficult. The ones where it is the last call, obviously, standing there at the bedside holding the iPad while the family says goodbye, as a nurse it’s extremely heartbreaking to watch that,” said Gardner.
With the iPad in one hand and the other clasping the hands of the patient, the families also have the peace of mind of knowing that the nurse is right there with their loved one and that they are not physically alone, either.
“The staff get connected. We’ve had some patients here for several weeks, so you do get very connected to these patients,” said Delehanty.
Some of the families are calling in from home or different states and countries, Others could be calling from a few floors up as they battle the same virus.
“We had a couple, where one was on my unit and the other was on a ventilator in the ICU, and we were able to bring them together via technology,” said Delehanty.