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Beaumont Health frontliners transform tough experiences into song

Beaumont Health workers transform tough experiences into song
Posted at 7:24 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 20:19:40-05

WXYZ — “You’re all they’ve got at the moment. Fear is what I see in their faces … I know we can’t bring comfort like a loved one would, or friend or family would.”

Frontliners at Beaumont Health were given a safe space to talk about what they see and feel on a day-to-day basis as COVID-19 continues to upend so many of our lives.

As the pandemic enters a third year, family and friends are grieving 33,000 Michiganders who were taken too soon because of a virus no one saw coming.

Meanwhile, health care workers continue to show up and face a harsh reality every day: more COVID patients and worsening conditions – and many adults who chose not to get vaccinated. Despite the challenges, dedicated workers become attached to their patients – making it even harder to leave work behind when it’s finally time to go home.

“At night sometimes I’ll lay in bed and just think about my patients and where they’re at and … did they ever recover? They often leave the hospital and have to go to rehab, or a long-term acute facility and you just never forget about them,” one employee shared.

As more than 50 million American adults struggle with mental health, Beaumont Health is hoping to be proactive for its employees. The health system invited workers from different departments and hospitals across metro Detroit to come together for an out-of-the-box experience.

Three sessions were held. Each one, allowing frontliners to safely share their innermost thoughts aloud.

“When it rains it pours, what else is coming after this,” one worker pondered.

Another said: “You work together as a team to take care of these patients in the best way that you can no matter how little staff you have … so for two years we’ve been running like that. And the two years is catching up.”

In less than two hours, a professional songwriter turned one group’s insightful words into a soothing and relatable song:

Every day I fight against the anger and the fears
Looking for the moments when everything goes right
So much darkness
So much pain
The sun’s gotta come out after the rains
Untold stories keep me movin’ to the night

Ohhh, all the stuff I’ve seen
I try to leave it all behind, but it follows me
It reminds me of all that I’ve been through
The beauty and the weight of the job I do

Ohhh, the stuff I’ve seen
The stuff I’ve seen

Each group's finished song will be turned into a music video.

Sarah Rauner, a Chief Nurse Practitioner at Beaumont Health says she was reluctant when she received an invitation to a session. But now Rauner says she would gladly join again, even calling the experience “cathartic”.

“I think the big thing you have to be open to is … in health care, I think we hold it in to protect ourselves and everyone else … we’re going to go back to our new normal but it’s not going to be our old normal anymore."

Rauner added: "It's not just those of us in the ER or those of us on the floor that have been affected. It's literally been every person in that hospital."

Beaumont Health says it hopes to introduce more therapeutic and unique employee opportunities in the months to come.

You're invited to watch more of the session and see the song come together.