Healthcare facilities have made major changes to their departments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nonessential department leaders have worked to shift their employees to emergency and ICU areas to combat COVID-19.
Assistant Nurse Manager of the Post Anesthesia Unit (PACU) Keisha Franks said, “I’ve had to deploy my team members to other areas to help in the hospital. I have nurses that have come to me from the emergency room, from the ICU, and they have various backgrounds. This is a time that we’ve called upon their backgrounds to go and help their fellow coworkers to help within the hospital.”
As patients and employees enter the hospital, they are screened daily and given a new sticker to indicate whether they are potentially COVID-19 positive or not in order to separate and reduce risk of spread.
If a patient exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, they are placed into specified and secure coronavirus areas.
If an employee exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, they are sent home to self quarantine for 14 days before they are allowed to return to work.
Non-life threatening surgeries have been cancelled, visitors are not allowed to visit in any parts of the hospital and PACU and other procedural areas have been turned into intensive care units to ensure safety and avoid spread to others in the hospital.
Tulane Medical Center Cath Lab Nurse Alessandra Pons said,“If in which some of my coworkers are pregnant or amino suppressed, they’re not in immediate direct care of COVID positive patients which is something we don’t want to subject our other patients to. We don’t want to subject our staff necessarily to as well. We’re trying to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
Due to these changes, hours have been altered for healthcare workers where they’ve been asked to leave early or not come in at all to avoid spread.
Fear of spread and uncertainty has caused healthcare employees to resign in concern of their own health and the safety of their families after ting returning home from a shift.
Despite the circumstances, communities have worked together to support frontline medical staff by donating food, money, clothing and medical supplies.
On April 1, frontline medical staff communicated through social media to light a candle in front of their homes to unite and support one another.
On April 9, LSU lit the Tiger Stadium blue to honor frontline medical staff all over the world.