SPHP would like to congratulate Rene Kerner, NP, a nurse practitioner at Samaritan Hospital. Kerner is being featured as one of WTEN’s Remarkable Women. The series honors women across the Capital Region who are making their communities a better place.
Kerner was one of dozens of women nominated.
From the story:
“At 10-years-old, I was bandaging my grandmother’s ankle,” she recalled, “and then I was on the rescue squad as a teenager and in my young adult life. I just found nursing important, caring for people is important.”
But never did she imagine how difficult that important job would become during the pandemic. That meant in addition to the challenging work of medicine in her Intensive Care Unit, she had to become a connection to families separated from loved ones.
“COVID has been rough,” Rene said, “it’s been terrible for families, it’s been very hard on healthcare workers. It has really been challenging as a nurse but I go to work every day saying I’m going to help someone and helping them in a different light maybe with Covid,” said Kerner. “We do a lot of Facetime, phone conversations in the room with patients and families because they have to be able to trust that their loved ones are in good hands and that’s not something I ever would have imagined myself doing, you know, three years ago.”
The pandemic also has her questioning how COVID has changed our mental health, leading her to go back to school for her doctorate. “Patients that have gone through covid have post-traumatic stress disorder but also what does that look like for staff members and the community as a whole,” she wondered. “I’m really interested to see what mental health looks like a year or two years from now of patients and families that have dealt with COVID.”
Click here to watch WTEN’s full report.