Jen Beschorner connects with patients in a new way during COVID-19

Jen Beschorner, BSN
Health care professionals like Jen Beschorner, BSN serve their patents with COVID-19 in many roles: care provider, listener, cheerleader, communicator, and counselor.

Jen Beschorner is accustomed to providing her patients with hands-on care. However, COVID-19 is changing all the rules.

“I've been a nurse at UI Hospitals & Clinics for 15 years,” says Beschorner, BSN, and staff nurse. “COVID-19 is a completely new experience. We are all learning every day.”  

Beschorner’s unit, once a medical surgical floor, now cares exclusively for a wide spectrum of patients with COVID-19. Because she wears personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect others, she says her patients haven’t seen her face or smile since March.

I have not been able to hold my patient's hands without a glove in between us since the middle of March. I haven't been able to hug my patients when they leave. For me, that has been the biggest adjustment. But we’re now connecting with patients much more on an emotional level.

— Jen Beschorner, BSN

Mask up for you; mask up for others

Beschorner and her team are experienced and capable care providers and they want people to understand the severity of COVID-19.

“Some people still think this is a hoax and don't take it seriously,” she says. “I want everyone to be mindful of the repercussions of COVID, for themselves, their families, and the community.”

Beschorner has seen this pandemic up close and personal. And she says teamwork has been the guiding principle.

"We could never have done this without our co-workers stepping up and helping each other,” says Beschorner. “Just being able to rely on each other has made all the difference.”

Focusing on success stories

Health care professionals in Beschorner’s unit wear many hats for their patents: care provider, listener, cheerleader, communicator, and counselor. Beschorner recalls a patient who needed more oxygen and was on the verge of being sent back to the ICU.

“She was despondent, so she I talked about the things that she needed to do on her end, to stay out of the ICU,” says Beschorner.

The patient worked hard and followed Beschorner’s directions by getting up and moving around and taking frequent deep breaths.

“She was so appreciative and wrote us a wonderful thank you letter,” says Beschorner.  “She thanked the doctor and the whole care team for giving her the tools to survive at home. It was a really great experience.”