Voices From the Crisis: Life’s a blur for front-line nurses at ChristianaCare
The days are starting to run together for Mike Knorr, vice president of Patient Care Services for ChristianaCare’s Acute Medicine Service Line.
Right now, it’s all a blur as he listens to the front-line nurses in this ongoing war against coronavirus.
“There’s no more Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,” Knorr said. “Instead, every day, myself and my colleagues are working around the clock. I’m working to protect [the] nursing staff so they feel safe and can provide the very best care to their patients.”
Knorr is a nurse by training. But while he doesn’t do direct patient care, he’s working with nurses at ChristianaCare’s hospitals in Newark and Wilmington every day during the pandemic. He starts each day now with reviewing and reassessing new procedures and policies that ChristianaCare has in place.
“Given that the information about the Coronavirus and how we treat it is changing every day as new guidance comes in, I begin my day by working to understand the new procedures,” he said. “My ultimate focus is helping to support the nurses on the front lines who are caring for patients.”
When it comes to helping front-line nurses cope with the stress, Knorr points to ChristianaCare offering resources through its Center for WorkLife Wellbeing. For example, the Care for the Caregiver program allows staff to receive peer support and provides a useful way to share their fears about contracting coronavirus.
Personally, Knorr copes by staying in the moment when he’s with his wife, two teenage children and two dogs. A recent memory he shared was pitching baseballs to his son on a beautiful Friday afternoon.
“Those times with my family are special and memorable — now more than ever,” he said.
Although his work mainly involves working with the nursing team, he does sometimes speak with patients about the policies meant to keep them and their families safe.
“At this moment, we are able to meet the needs of our community and healthcare providers who rely on us to be there for them. Yet, we recognize that the situation can change rapidly, and we are planning accordingly,” he said.