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'We have to choose hope': Hospital chaplain sees the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers

The deadly virus sweeping the world is seen first hand by those on the front lines fighting to save lives.

Hospital ministry provides a source of hope not only to sick patients, but also to the medical workers providing care. With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, positivity and encouragement are needed more than ever.

Meet one of the unseen faces in the battle against the coronavirus, chaplain Brian Quinn.

“I don’t know how you’re all feeling about this. I’m sure you come in with lots of different emotions, but what you do is very close to the heart of God,” said Quinn, addressing medical staff.

Chaplain Quinn has been in hospital ministry for 34 years at Medical City Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

“Just before all of this happened, I had weddings organized and other things organized,” said Quinn, “Someone in leadership asked me, ‘Are you guys coming in?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely, we’re coming in.’”

RELATED: Photos show the heartbreaking reality of what's happening in hospitals during COVID-19 pandemic

Credit: WXIA

COVID-19 is an isolating illness, separating patients from their families. The chaplain helps remind patients that they are not alone.

“We were built for relationships. It’s in our DNA. When families are told they cannot visit their loved one, that is very hard,” said Quinn.

Quinn says we sometimes forget how lonely a patient can be in this crisis. For medical personnel, being a lifeline for others takes a toll.

“It’s this thing called compassion fatigue. When you go home at nights and you feel you have nothing left to give and you start to question, ‘Why is this?’” explains Quinn, “ Working 12 hours in a COVID unit – the stress, the tension, the fears, the feelings – so we’re trying to remind the staff they need to take care of themselves because an unbalanced wheel will wear out the quickest.”

The chaplain describes seeing the hospital staff’s unwavering courage and compassion in light of the pandemic as remarkable. Compassion and connection are the cornerstones of this job, and Quinn’s mission is to keep hope alive.

“I confess to you, it’s a choice that’s as caregivers and chaplains, we have to choose every day. We have to choose hope. We may have been called in the night before to work a death, but we have to choose hope because hope is an amazing thing," said Quinn. 


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