Hospital Heroes Step Up to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic is something the likes of which many health care workers have never seen. Yet, with COVID-19 surging across the nation, they keep rising to the occasion with determination, courage and compassion, shift after hospital shift.

Highly contagious and sometimes lethal, the novel coronavirus puts health professionals on the front lines of patient care at considerable risk of becoming infected themselves. Doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists in emergency rooms and ICUs continue to provide patients with a human touch, even while swathed in personal protective equipment .

Every hospital worker has a role to play in pushing back against COVID-19. Environmental services crews continually sanitize patient care areas for nonstop infection control. Hospital chaplains offer spiritual support to shell-shocked staff members and frightened or grieving family members.

U.S. News is proud to honor these health care heroes and countless others — both in and out of hospitals, including volunteers jumping in with both feet — for their extraordinary contributions during this unprecedented health crisis. We’ll be sharing their outstanding efforts in an ongoing new series, called U.S. News Hospital Heroes. You will meet a range of individuals in roles like these:

[ See: Best Hospitals Rankings in Adult Specialties. ]

— Critical care ICU physicians at hospitals in hard-hit hot spots take on grim pandemic realities, show concern for fellow health care workers infected with COVID-19 and are lauded by colleagues for their patient care, empathy and support.

— Chaplains put on PPE to pray for patients dying of COVID-19 and give spiritual succor to doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and administrators who deeply appreciate their support.

— Top hospital executives take on new roles like procuring and inspecting shipments of sorely needed respirator masks for the staff.

— Pharmacists at academic medical centers make sure every critically ill patient receives intravenous infusions and medications, including patients with COVID-19 taking part in clinical trials for experimental drugs.

— Critical care nurses monitor and care for extremely ill patients on ventilators with severe pneumonia from the coronavirus who are too sick to breathe on their own. They give patients one-on-one care to stabilize and get them through the worst of their condition.

— Environmental services directors lead teams that clean and disinfect every corner of a hospital, including the “red zone” where COVID-19 patients are located. When a patient is discharged or transferred, it’s environmental service workers who decontaminate their rooms.— Respiratory therapists work tirelessly with patients whose lungs […]

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