I communicate with them in a simple way
"I hum when I clean. The patients will smile and laugh sometimes with me because I communicate with them in a simple way – just “Hi, how are you doing? I’m coming into your room.” It makes their day.
I’ve been a housekeeper since August 2018, and I’m the chairperson of our local. I’m in charge of cleaning and maintaining my department – patient rooms, hallways and common areas. I make sure supplies are organized and available, such as PPE for isolation rooms.
Since the COVID happened, there’s a lot of reshuffling with transferring patients to my area to keep beds open in other departments – and it has to be done quickly and with really short notice because of the pandemic. It’s overwhelming because I work by myself.
There’s a lot of extra cleaning. With patient transfers and discharges, I can clean the same room twice in a day. I never have any empty rooms in my area because the flow of patients is frequent.
Housekeepers usually help each other, but we can’t go anywhere else because of the COVID. We can’t move like we used to do – going to a different floor or area to help each other catch up on a heavy day.
I do protect myself with PPE – a gown, mask with shield, and gloves. The PPE that I’m using is only for housekeeping when I’m cleaning an isolation room, and I only use it once.
A well-informed employee is a very careful employee, who doesn’t come into a room and put themselves at risk or the patient at risk or the medical staff at risk. We have to be properly trained to do our jobs properly. We all help one another and work as a team.
We need to support each other, not because it’s been a downer day, but being a light from the dark helps a little bit. A nice gesture, smiling and saying hello is a very important thing. We may be doing physical distancing, but we’re still socializing with each other by being respectful, calm mindful and kind."
- Annie, Housekeeper, part of the health care team