It has been one full month since HCS mobilized its workforce and operations to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 for our patients and our staff. We have learned so much in this short time. Allow me to list the lessons that continue each day. We have learned how to:
- Conduct patient “visits” via teleconferencing;
- Test N95 masks and over-masks to be a secure “fit” and protect clinicians;
- Conduct team meetings using a variety of remote video technologies – at least 3 different software applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts;
- Apply for emergency relief funds from banks, Medicare, and New Hampshire charitable organizations;
- Guide staff to income relief programs such as Extended Sick Leave, Emergency Family Leave, Unemployment and Furlough Benefits;
- Encourage each other as we all deal with social distancing at work and at home;
- Sanitize trucks, food trays, medical equipment, and masks for reuse several times a day;
- Say “Goodbye, for now” to employees who will be riding out the rest of the pandemic at home rather than coming to the office and while work slows down in ways that we have never before experienced;
- Offer personal protective equipment (PPE) to families of hospice patients so that patients do not die alone and so that family members feel safe;
- To digest new information every day that may counter information we had just received 24 hours earlier;
- To understand that we all deal with stress in personal ways and to forgive the imperfections we see and hear because they remind us that we are human and that is our gift.
HCS is a living organization filled with bright, gifted, and committed individuals. We are grateful to be able to serve in this time with a mission to provide services to people to function throughout life (substitute.’ a pandemic) at their optimal level of health, well-being, and independence, according to their personal beliefs and choices.
Maura McQueeney, MPH, DNP