The Saint Francis Foundation has begun profiling some of the amazing medical staff at work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kecia Kelly, DNP, RN
VP, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer
Saint Francis Memorial Hospital
Q. What is most challenging about your work during this current crisis?
A. What has been most challenging is doing my best to be visible, present, and approachable to our frontline staff while still juggling my responsibilities to the Facility and to the Division. Staff being able to see their CNO (Chief Nursing Officer) on the floors, expressing gratitude, dispelling rumors and providing comfort and reassurance has proven invaluable.
Q. Why do you do what you do?
A. I am always a nurse. But I have found that my most valuable gift is to be able to serve those who are at the bedside providing the care to our most vulnerable patients.
Q. What are you learning from this unprecedented situation?
A. I have truly learned just how courageous our nurses and staff can be during this most difficult time. We have all been trying to figure this out together. We have worked tirelessly to give them the tools and information they need to give the best care possible while keeping themselves safe. I’ve learned so much about how important communication is. Communicating with confidence and compassion, even when you don’t always have all the answers is more valuable than no communication at all. Staff don’t expect you to have all the answers, but they respect your willingness to try.
Q. What do you feel most hopeful about right now?
A. The landscape of nursing has changed forever. Our profession has been elevated to a level in the public’s eyes that I never imagined. I would be remiss in not recognizing all of our health care heroes who are not nurses. They matter just as much and have also been some of the most courageous people I have ever encountered.