Monument Health doctor discusses emotional impact of treating COVID-19 patients

Rapid City doctor talks about the impact of treating COVID-19 patients
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 2:16 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - ”COVID-19 is real. It’s here. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it take people’s lives,” says ICU physician Matt Anderson.

Medical professionals are on the front lines of the pandemic. “It’s been different,” says Anderson.

“This is a novel disease, something we’ve never seen before, so it’s really kind of pushed the boundaries of medicine,” he said.

Right now, there is no cure or vaccine for the virus, leading doctors and nurses to do what they can for their patients.

“As they get worse or get better, that relationship changes and especially for our staff and our nurses who are at the bedside with them 24 hours a day, they develop strong relationships with these patients in addition to their families over the telephone, and it’s really hard when you’re taking care of somebody for 20 days, and things don’t go the direction we all want, it’s hard,” says Anderson.

Hard for everyone involved, something the staff at Monument Health hasn’t seen in a while.

“I would say this has been probably one of the most emotional times that we’ve had in at least the history of my short time in the intensive care unit over the last three years here.”

Patients who are dealing with the virus can be in the hospital from a few days to months at a time. Time away from their friends and family.

“Not having families be able to come in and see their loved ones is really hard. Talking about how sick somebody is and trying to show empathy, try to show how much you care about that person over a telephone is very difficult,” says Anderson.

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.

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