CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Health Care Workers Reflect On 2020, Look Ahead To 2021

Dec 31, 2020, 10:17 PM | Updated: 11:17 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, UtahIt has been a year unlike any other for most professionals, but especially for those working in health care.

For all the bad this past year will be remembered for, if nothing else, 2020 has shown us what real heroes look like.

Not movie stars, athletes or even social media influencers. Instead, people who look like Mackenzie Visentin.

“One thing I’ve learned this year is how adaptable and resilient nurses are,” she said.

Visentin is a nurse manager at Alta View Hospital and is proud of how her team, and all health care workers, have handled a year they don’t really teach about in medical school.

“My team has chosen to have a good attitude through this challenge,” said Visentin.

Sometimes, having a good attitude was a challenge itself.

“There have been days we have been on our last nerve, very stressed out — fuses are very short,” said Breno Rodrigues, a physical therapist with Intermountain Healthcare. “But I think at the end of the day, we came together as caregivers, as a group of humans who cared about other humans and it has reminded us as to why we have become health care providers.”

Many of them said the love and support they received from the community has helped.

FILE: Health care workers at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. (Intermountain Healthcare)

For as challenging of a year as it has been for those in the medical profession, though, they also said they have learned a lot in 2020.

“One thing I have learned this year is how resilient people can be and just how sometimes suffering can actually bring out the best in people,” said Cathie Randle, a house supervisor at Alta View Hospital.

“I think I’m most proud of my coworkers, from our emergency room to our floor nurses, everyone,” said CT technologist Chris Taylor. “We work hard every day to take care of our patients who are really sick.”

A new year, though, always brings new hope.

“My wish for the next year is to have this pandemic over,” said LeAnne Blair, a nurse manager at Riverton Hospital. “To be able to see my friends again.”

A health care worker receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Intermountain LDS Hospital. (KSL-TV)

“I am most hopeful for our communities to be vaccinated enough to be able to open businesses and be able to be with their families again safely and have our life just back to normal,” said Randle.

The COVID-19 pandemic response has been politically controversial.

But for as divisive as coronavirus, masks and vaccines have been and continue to be, maybe Jake Elkins has the best wish of all.

He works in labor and delivery at Alta View Hospital and sees new life come into this world every day.

“I’m most hopeful that we can all come out of this and learn and overcome our challenges in the future,” he said. “My wish for next year would probably be that we would learn how to all come together as a human race and get over our differences.”

That would be heroic for everybody.

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Health Care Workers Reflect On 2020, Look Ahead To 2021