We now work seven days a week as a smaller team
“When I came to Canada back in 1981, I worked in a hospital cafeteria for about 20 years. Then I started to work as a Housekeeper at a seniors’ home. I took the job there so I could be with my Dad, who is a resident there with dementia.
He doesn’t speak English. So, every day, I would feed him and spend my breaks with him. But a few years ago, I took a job as a Laundry Supervisor because it’s a promotion, and I hope to retire soon.
But now, I haven’t seen my Dad in two months, and neither has my mother, because the care homes are closed off from visitors. We worry because he’s lost weight and we’re all really sad, but we also want him to be healthy. Because of his dementia, my Dad doesn’t understand why we can’t go and see him.
I love my job as a supervisor in hospital laundry. Our team in laundry used to work five days a week from Monday to Friday. But because of the pandemic, we’re now running the laundry seven days a week.
Our work has changed – from what we wash, to how often we need to wash. We now work seven days a week as a smaller team, and we clean scrubs, scrubs, scrubs. Everyone at the hospital is changing their scrubs more often.
We have a special cart in the staff entrance. When staff arrive on shift, they pick up their size. We have been short on scrubs, so that’s one of the reasons why we are open seven days a week.
As a supervisor, it was stressful at first to sort out how to do all of this rescheduling, while missing two people per shift because we need staff on the weekends. But we managed to switch over our entire operating system in the laundry in a day or two.
Just because the patient count is low at the hospital, we still have a lot of work. We may have less linens, but we have more things like mops, rags and curtains to wash.
In the laundry area, we already wore PPE before the pandemic because of the types of toxins in the laundry. We feel safe with what we’re handling.”
- Xuan, Laundry Supervisor, part of the health care team