I think the pandemic has brought staff members closer together because we have to work more as a team
“I have great co-workers who I’m glad to call friends, and a supportive family. My biggest fear is running out of PPE, and not being able to protect my patients or my family. We will beat this, but it takes a team.
I have been a Medical Lab Assistant and HEU member for about 13 years. I collect all the lab specimens that the doctors order on the inpatient, outpatient and emergency room patients. I do everything from collecting the blood to preparing it for ship out.
Since COVID-19, it’s been a little bit more stressful – making sure I have access to PPE and I’m wearing the right PPE to enter a room, and not take any infection in to a patient or bring any infection out to another patient.
I wear gowns, gloves, shields, goggles, masks. It’s warm and uncomfortable. For the first week, wearing a mask constantly throughout the whole shift, my face got very sore, almost like a diaper rash.
I wear the same mask all day. We are starting to run short, so if it’s just a face shield, we clean them so that we can keep reusing them. But it’s new gloves and a new gown for every patient.
Normally, I don’t have to gown up unless it’s an isolation room. But now, I’m constantly changing – gowning and gloving up, masking up.
I wear my work clothes to work in the morning, and I bring a complete change of clothes. When I come home, I’m very fortunate because I park in my garage and right next to my garage is a bathroom, so I strip down, hit the shower, and throw everything in the wash. It’s a lot of extra laundry loads – considering there’s only two people who live in my house – and I do laundry every day now.
I think the pandemic has brought staff members closer together because we have to work more as a team. For the most part, people have been looking out for each other and doing their best to help out.
Knowing I’m trying to help someone who is sick is rewarding. I get lab results so doctors can determine courses of treatment.”
- Tracey, Medical Lab Assistant, part of the health care team