"These are some of our most vulnerable patients at some of the most vulnerable times of their lives," said Tomi Ryba, president and CEO of Regional Medical Center in San Jose. "I know they're in good hands, but it's also unpredictable."
Regional has cared for more than a quarter of the nearly 1,600 confirmed COVID-19 patients in Santa Clara County since the outbreak began.
"I know that I'm going to have patients who are sick, who cannot breathe, and that is my job," said Randy Nguyen, a long-time respiratory therapist at the hospital. "I'll do whatever it takes to help my patient get better."
RELATED: Bay Area healthcare workers speak out about mask, medical supply shortages
The staff has had to deal with more hospitalizations in comparison to other Bay Area facilities. One factor is Regional's location in East San Jose, which has a more diverse and vulnerable population. Another is the hospital's reputation for delivering quality care.
"We care so much and we want so badly to make people better, so the fact that we can't just simply give them a medicine or give them some sort of care that will for sure make them better... it's hard," said Regional registered nurse Casey Caruso.
However, the California Nurses Association says Regional isn't doing enough to protect some of its employees. Union representatives are concerned about the patient to staff ratio in the ICU and are also worried about nurses having to re-use certain PPE such as N-95 respirators.
RELATED: Nurses, healthcare workers concerned about their safety as COVID-19 cases rise
ABC7 News took their concerns to hospital officials who insisted they were following CDC recommendations and guidelines. However, executives were quick to admit they're also learning as they go, because of the complexities of COVID-19, but adamant they would never compromise safety, especially with the danger of the disease on display each time a staff member walks through the ICU.
"What you take from it... is you take from it hope that many of them will be successfully removed from a ventilator, and each time that happens, it's like a personal victory for everyone," said Ryba.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here. Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- Coronavirus data: See how the curve of COVID-19 cases is bending in each Bay Area county
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- Stimulus calculator: How much money should you expect from coronavirus relief bill
- WATCH: ABC7's interactive town hall 'Race and Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation'
- What Bay Area tenants need to know about rent payments, eviction amid COVID-19 outbreak
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- Coronavirus and the new normal of living in the San Francisco-Bay Area -- COVID-19 Diaries
- Happy hour goes virtual as people try to be sociable while social distancing during COVID-19 crisis
- Coronavirus Outbreak: Here's why you should practice 'social distancing'
- DRONEVIEW7: What the Bay Area looks like during the coronavirus shelter-in-place
- ABC7's drive around San Francisco shows empty streets, businesses shuttered
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions
- Asian community fighting racism, xenophobia, bigotry as world fights COVID-19