Tana Steiner-Smith

May 26th, 2020

Saving lives one turn at a time

As a social worker in the intensive care unit at UCHealth Memorial Central, Steiner-Smith helps patients and families during crisis. For some, it’s listening and providing counsel. For others, it’s providing resources, support for out-of-hospital needs, or preparing for the next steps.

When patients come to the hospital without identification, Steiner-Smith works to identify the person and to notify their families. She also helps staff when difficult conversations must occur, including end of life decisions. The COVID-19 pandemic makes those conversations even more challenging. To protect patients, families and staff,  UCHealth is restricting visitors. Difficult conversations now take place over the phone as anxious family members seek updates about their loved ones. Steiner-Smith is an empathetic bridge between patients, medical teams and families. Families may visit at the end of life and are supported by Steiner-Smith and other staff.

“I love the interactions and relationships I am fortunate to have with patients, their families and the ICU team,” Steiner-Smith said. “The ICU team is phenomenal. We recognize it’s an unprecedented time and that we’ll get through this with grace, understanding and patience.”

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About the author

UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. With 24,000 employees, UCHealth includes 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.