Hometown Hero: Charles Beach

Story by Rocko Jerome | Photo submitted


Charles Beach
BSN, RN + CCRN at CHI Saint Joseph Health

For his protection, Charles Beach, BSN, RN, CCRN, dons layers of personal protective equipment when he enters the room of a patient who has been tested for the novel coronavirus. For the compassion in his heart, he takes time to put his patients at ease because of that personal protective equipment (PPE).

“When you come into the room wearing all that, it makes them feel like we’re scared of them,” said Beach, 24, who’s been a nurse at Saint Joseph Hospital since November 2018. “They feel really uncomfortable.”

He makes a point to clarify from the start that, until the test results come in, the clinical team needs to wear the mask, face shield and protective gown to keep them safe from COVID-19. They continue to wear that PPE if the test comes back positive.

“I tell them, ‘I know it’s scary, but this is what we have to do for now,’” said Beach.

Because the health care team has to limit exposure, they don’t get as many “touches” as they would otherwise. So Beach tries to make the most of each visit. 

He remembers spending extra time with an elderly patient who had trouble eating. After her lunch was brought in, Beach stayed in the room to help feed her while they watched “Little House on the Prairie.”

“They don’t get family visits,” he said. (Hospitals are temporarily restricting visitors.) “They are sitting in a room and their only communication is with people who come in with all this protective gear on. It really helped me understand how these patients feel.”

Personal protective equipment

On April 3rd, CHI Saint Joseph Health released a statement that said “CHI Saint Joseph Health has always been dedicated to building a healthy community in the spirit of service we were founded on, and we want to ensure that the community has the resources it needs in this time of crisis. If you have any items, including medical-grade masks or N95s – or other personal protective equipment – that you would like to donate, please contact CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations at [email protected] or call (859) 313-1705. All donations will be accepted on behalf of our communities to ensure that these items are available as our communities need them.”