Like all first responders, Swedish Hospital Staff Nurse Angela Montejo is at the forefront of the COVID-19 response as she provides compassionate care for her patients. Today, her job is vastly different and more challenging with the additional safety protocols and personal protective equipment (PPE) she must wear all day, but at the core she is still caring for patients and helping them return to health.
Before arriving for her 12-hour shift, Angela has her temperature taken and then gowns up in full PPE prior to seeing her patients.
“When I meet my patients for the first time, I give them my work cell phone number and encourage them to call me with whatever needs they have,” said Angela. “I make sure they have their phone nearby and explain that I will call them to check in throughout the shift and before I enter (to minimize exposure and use of PPE). I will assess/reassess their vitals and provide them with their specific care and medications.”
Then it’s on to the next room, and the rest is a blur. “It goes by so quickly and varies based on the patients,” she said. “Breaks are extra sweet as I get to take off my PPE and get water. Before I know it, the day is done and it’s time to give a report to the oncoming shift! Then home sweet home.”
Angela, who has worked at Swedish Hospital for three years, enjoys helping people and the hands-on aspect of nursing. She credits her amazing coworkers, support from friends, family and community to help keep her smiling during these challenging times. “I cannot explain how amazing my coworkers are,” Angela said. “It takes a village, and everyone is doing their part to help, including picking up extra shifts.”
“Angela is very kind, caring and compassionate; and her teamwork has been essential in providing quality care to our patients during this difficult time,” said Ruth Orozco, Swedish Hospital Nurse Manager. “Angela treats patients as if they are family by providing care that promotes healing, trust and empathy. She is a great example of the continued selflessness we’ve seen from health care workers everywhere.”
Angela believes that working together will yield the best results. “If everyone continues to stay home and practice social distancing, things will get better soon,” she said. “But we have to stay the course to flatten the curve and everyone must continue to do their part!”