Helpers and Healers: Perspectives from the Frontlines of Healthcare
Hello Faith Family,
Two of our Faith Family members currently work in the healthcare field and I (Tone) thought it would be helpful to get their perspective as they work on the frontlines of the global pandemic. Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. Angela Noble and Kristy Kammerer, RN:
Tone: Who are you and what is your relationship to Faith Covenant Church?
Angela: I am Angela Noble. I have been attending Faith Covenant with my husband and 3 kids for almost 3 years.
Kristy: I am Kristy Kammerer, member of FCC for 13 years. I married my husband 13 years ago this past month. I am a nurse, my hubby is a police officer. We have three children, Liz (12), Ayden (11), and Haylee (5).
Tone: What is your educational background?
Angela: I am a hospitalist physician. I did my residency in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.
Kristy: My educational background is a Bachelor’s degree in Science-Nursing from Winona State University.
Tone: What is your current position?
Angela: As a hospitalist, I only see patients admitted to the hospital. With my training, I see patients of all ages, ranging from newborns to elderly patients, and I see most diagnoses resulting in people requiring hospitalization. I work at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of MN, and Gillette.
Kristy: I am currently a registered nurse in ICU at Fairview Ridges (MHEALTH) Burnsville. I’ve been an RN since 2003, working in critical care areas for 9 years, and also hold a RN certification in critical care.
Tone: How do you see God at work in your life as a healthcare professional?
Angela: I believe that God gives me gifts to heal people. He is with me as I care for patients and He works through me. Although we don’t always understand the “why” of disease and illness in life, I think that He continues to fight against that which causes us pain and suffering. I think He cheers when we discover new treatment options and He grieves with us when there isn’t anything else we can do.
Kristy: God working in my life as a nurse looks different every day. That’s the beauty of it. I really see God working through me especially in end of life situations where patients are actively dying. I feel that this is such a wonderful time to display the love and peace of Christ. God has wired me in such a special way to be present in those end moments for patients.
Tone: What is one thing you wish folks who are not in the medical community would understand about the state of our hospitals and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis?
Angela: The hospital is a stressful place right now. We are struggling to find our new normal in jobs we previously loved. We worry about getting our families sick. We continue to see cases rising and are concerned for our community, but at the same time we see our state slowly opening and are afraid of what this will bring to their future and to the hospitals. We want to minimize the burden of this disease, but this is going to be a long process, and our fear is that people will let their guard down too soon, not trust the medical experts, and we will see a huge surge in cases and we won’t be able to help everyone in the way we would usually be able to due to limited resources.
Kristy: One thing I think is important for individuals not in healthcare to understand during this COVID time is that things are not always as they seem. Everyone brings their own perspective when forming opinions about current situations and it is very difficult as a healthcare worker when things are portrayed as untrue. This pandemic IS a big deal and I would hope that people will view this from a WIDE lens and think about safety in this situation as a whole and NOT just how it affects them individually. Mostly to understand that one cannot know the devastation of this illness unless you are in the shoes of someone working every day on the front lines, or watching someone pass away in that moment in a very unconventional way, or a family member who is directly impacted by this pandemic.
Tone: How can we pray for you and the healthcare community?
Angela: Pray for peace in these stressful times. For researchers trying to find appropriate treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 in a timely manner. Stamina for healthcare workers to continue fighting this just as strong in the future as we did in the beginning. Pray for the community to continue to trust medical experts in what is the right thing to do to protect us, and pray for patience in that process.
Kristy: Prayers would be appreciated for the entire healthcare community working on the front lines. This list is much more than just doctors and nurses, as many people touch a patient throughout the day. Although I am biased to the fact that NURSES bear the most burden! But it includes all people putting themselves at risk to be a part of the whole healthcare system. Prayers for our leaders who are making the decisions regarding this pandemic, prayers for the families of loved ones who are hospitalized and who can’t be with them. This time also brings tremendous feelings of fear and isolation to patients. And lastly, prayers for the proper supplies that workers on the front lines are requiring to adequately protect themselves.
Thank you Angela and Kristy for all you do. I hope each of us will pray for these women and all healthcare workers during this time of crisis.
Tone Waters, Director of GO & Communications