Work Life During a Pandemic

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Our entire world was changed mid March 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I work as a Clinical Informatics Specialist at my hospital and we received news during a class we were training that after that class no more will be taken place until further notice. Over night it was mandatory that everyone wore masks in the hospital, then temperatures needed to be taken daily and recorded. My director stated that no more than 2 people per day in office and we were not to go to do rounds on the hospital floors, but to call to see if our assistance was needed. When we had to go to the floors, it was heartbreaking to see every patient with thier IV pumps outside of the rooms with extension tubing so RN's didn't have to spend excessive time in the rooms. The staff were dressed head to toe with bouffant hats, N-95 masks, face shields, and gowns. Many hallways had Hazmat plastic hanging so people knew the Covid side vs. Non- Covid side of hallways. We even got to the point that all surgeries stopped so we could build out more rooms for the influx of Covid patients in our postoperative areas that were now added ICU beds. The first surge of Covid patients in April/ May timeframe had our team and education teams training an influx of Agency RN's, techs and doctors on our electronic health record as we needed close to 300 more staff to help take care of Covid patients we could only train no more than 9 people per class.

The state reopened up a preciously closed hospital that needed to be outfitted to take exclusively COVID patients starting with 2 floors at that time[.] [A]lso NO family members were allowed in the hospital for these patients and the cafeteria was closed to anyone who wasn't a staff member. When the surge flattened we slowly began to have 1 family member per [patient], they had to wear masks and temp checks before they could come see a patient. Our surgeries were able to take place again with only half of the post-op area kept as an ICU open. In November, we surged again and started training another 200 staff to open more Covid floors. In December, a vaccine was approved for emergency use that is being offered to staff, but many of us have mixed feelings about it. Many are excited that this could help decrease the sick and dying, but on the other hand a little nervous because it took less than a year to develop and there is the unknown of future side effects. your story here...

This story is part of a Healthcare Workers collection.