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Thank You to Our Heroes!

Today we want to honor Cedars-Sinai's ICU RN Lauren Yamashita. She works at the Cedars-Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital and this is her story as reported by the Cedars-Sinai Newsroom.

ICU Nurse Shares How Colleagues Pitch in to Care for Patients and Families | Cedars-Sinai Newsroom

Caring for some of the sickest patients during the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way ICU nurse Lauren Yamashita, RN, and her colleagues at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital approach patient care.

Before the pandemic, nurses within each unit at the 133-bed hospital would all work together to get a newly admitted patient settled into a room, Yamashita said in a video diary from the hospital on Monday. Now, in an effort to limit exposure to the virus, they've had to limit the number of nurses that can enter a patient's room.

"So, it kind of feels like we've got our hands tied behind our back, because the second we get a new patient everyone wants to run in the room and help settle the patient in, but we can't," she said.

Still, Yamashita said the ICU team has come up with unique ways to work together, including removing full trash bags so that their colleagues on the environmental services team don’t have to make multiple trips into patient rooms, and writing notes on door windows to flag down help or request additional supplies. These steps have been crucial in limiting potential exposure to the virus.

"We don't want to open the doors more than we need to," she said.

A more welcome change in Yamashita's routine has been the influx of help from fellow nurses.

"What's so inspiring to me is actually in the ICU right now our staff is doubled every day, pretty much," Yamashita said, "And it's inspiring to see so many coworkers willing to come in extra days to help out. That's definitely something that I think keeps us going, it keeps us feeling like a team."

That extra help gives Yamashita the time she needs to focus on things like connecting with patients' families, an important task at a time when hospital visitation has been restricted in an effort to slow the virus' spread.

Yamashita says she gives families detailed updates, answers their questions and often relays their messages back to their loved one in the ICU.

"I'm hoping that that alleviates some of the stress because I know it's hard on the family too," she said.

Thank you to all the Lauren for your commitment, dedication, and compassion for your patients and communities. 

If you have a story and pictures of a front line nurse you would like us to highlight on our website and social media, please email them to us at 





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