The COVID-19 pandemic taxed critical care and its leaders in unprecedented ways. Medical directors, nursing directors, division chiefs and department chairs were forced to lead their staff through a pandemic wrought with personal and professional safety concerns, uncertainty, and more death than most critical care practitioners had ever seen. No leader was fully prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. Herein, we describe what we believe are the three most important qualities of a leader in times of crisis: presence, transparency, and empathy.
Keywords: COVID-19; Critical care; Ethics; Leadership; Moral injury.