Utah nurse: ‘This is what fills my cup’, working extra shifts, uniting staff during COVID-19

Audra Post collects Sub for Santa gifts and unites emergency department staff at Heber Valley Hospital for a common goal. (Heather Simonsen, KSL-TV)

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HEBER – As the pandemic rages on, frontline healthcare workers have braved new obstacles. A nurse at a rural Utah hospital went above and beyond to motivate and uplift her colleagues.

The day starts early for Audra Post. She has missed many dinners with her family and will likely miss more because she worked extra shifts as a nurse in the emergency department at Heber Valley Hospital.

“We could just have… a sore throat, or we could have someone actively coding that came down right outside our doors,” said Post, a registered nurse at Intermountain Healthcare.

It has now been almost two long years for frontline workers like her. At first, the emotional toll was great as she comforted patients who were to die alone.

“I was the last conversation some of these people had, and it’s a big responsibility,” Post said. “It only gives the last hope.”

Now burnout is at an all time high as they face new challenges in the days of COVID-19.

“For a while, we were heroes,” Post said. “All of a sudden we’re to blame, that we’re here to help, that we’re here to take care of them.”

Post did all she could as a leader in employee engagement.

“For Audra, the cup is always half full,” said Jill Teuscher, nurse administrator at Heber Valley Hospital.

“And that’s really important because she’s really good at listening, but she can see the positive, she can see the positive side. And she can have a way to just get another caregiver to say, ‘We can do this. together. “”

Last Friday, Post raised Sub for Santa donations from colleagues and the community, a group effort that rallied the troops. He united the staff in a common goal, to give Christmas to other families.

“I do this because it’s what completes me,” Post said. “That’s what fills my cup.”

Post hopes he has taught his family by being an example of what matters.

“I want to teach them to serve and love, and to take every opportunity they have to make someone else’s life better,” she said.

The efforts its managers say lead to better patient care and greater compassion.

“It’s really the topic of this time of year,” Post said.

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