Communicating effectively throughout the Pulse event depended heavily on team work and collaboration between the Internal, Media and Marketing departments. It was our responsibility to ensure that the appropriate targeted messages were shared with our many different audiences, without contradiction. Following established and rehearsed communication procedures instilled a sense of calm in the midst of the chaos caused by tragedy.
Caring for our caregivers and their many different reactions to the tragedy they witnessed became a major focus of the organization and our communications.
The Pulse shooting touched each Orlando Health team member differently. I did not cry the entire time I was in incident command. I listened to the horrific reports from the trauma surgeons and witnessed the extraordinary efforts our clinical leaders and chaplains were making to identify John Does, those patients who came to us without identification— and still I didn’t cry. It wasn’t until I returned home late in the afternoon of June 13 and watched a video posted on Facebook by one of our team members that the tears began. The video was of the day-shift team members in the ORMC Emergency Department giving a standing ovation to the night-shift team members as they reported back to work on June 13. It was the appreciation, comradery and respect that made me cry, and thinking about it still does to this day.