Jessica Kitchen ‘22: COVID-19 provides a challenge for everyone in healthcare. Whether a part of administration or on the frontline, each job contains its own unique set of  challenges; keeping up with the ever changing guidelines of the CDC or even constructing their own personal protective equipment.

Christine Foster, Regional HIM Director of Ascension hospitals in Michigan and Wisconsin, is just one of those healthcare workers whose job has changed due to COVID-19.

“Because of COVID-19, I have daily calls with hospital leaderships to get updates on the impact it has on each facility and to hear the newest information from the CDC. I then have daily calls with the HIM leaders below to communicate the same information and to get the staffing updates from each site so we provide coverage between sites, if needed,” Foster said.

Those whose task remains to go to each floor to pick up the charts to be scanned, now must wear masks. In fact, everyone in the entire hospital regardless must wear some sort of mask.  In charge of filling out birth certificates to send to the state, now the nurses go in to ask the questions and the person from Medical Records stands outside of the door to answer any questions.

An anonymous source, who works as an Anesthesia Tech, acts as the arms and legs of the CRNAs. When they can’t leave the patient to get what they need, they’re in charge of getting it for them. Previously, their job mainly consisted of putting away supplies and ordering more if needed, but due to COVID-19 their tasks changed. 

“I don’t really order much at all now. I’m there for the CRNA who intubates the patients. I was making PPE packs for them and helping them put on the masks and gowns and making sure that they had all of their drugs and equipment, and after they come back, I would then set everything up for them to go out again when they get another page,” said the anonymous source. 

They now treat all surgeries as if the patient has COVID-19, and use even more PPE than before. 

“Before this I was more physically exhausted because we were busy, and now you come to work and you see bodies going to the morgue and you’re concerned and praying that everyone gets to go home. You’re really tired when you go home, you’re mentally drained,” said the anonymous source. 

It is a stressful time for everyone regardless of where you work and what you do. Be sure to be kind and appreciative to those on the frontlines.

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