AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — There are many on the frontlines in our community doing their absolute best to do their part as we continue to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Last March, local hospitals began to feel the direct impact of COVID-19.
Melinda Blasingame, BSA Supervisor of Housekeeping on First Shift, explained that they “Started seeing an increase of you know sick patients that were coming in, just as increase on patients in the intensive care unit. Increase of patients in the ER.”
Blasingame shared that every morning, the shift of housekeepers she supervises starts the day off with a group prayer. Over the past year, with everyone’s mind centered around COVID-19, she has watched those prayers evolve.
She stated, “I saw a shift in the patient- I mean, the staff really being concerned about themselves, and protecting their families, and am I taking this home to them?”
With what has felt like a never-ending health crisis, every inch of the hospital has required attention.
Blasingame shared, “What I have always told my staff, ‘anything that your hand touches – that’s what you’re wiping.”
This calling for uninterrupted time and focus to contain the virus and other germs within the walls of the hospital.
Chris Gallimore, EVS Floor Tech II, stated, “Every day I’m exhausted coming home from work.”
Gallimore shared that almost every day, during the pandemic, has presented a new challenge to the steep learning curve.
“We never know what the day is actually going to consist of. One day we may be planning on learning something with one of our machines and then all of a sudden we’re having to go spray a ton of rooms throughout the whole day so it’s always a brand new day,” said Gallimore.
While having to adapt masks to their everyday uniforms, the EVS team also must know how to wear PPE properly.
“We do go into the rooms with the COVID patients. Of course when we go into the COVID rooms, we make sure that we have our N-95s on. We make sure we have our hairnets, our goggles, our isolation gowns, any PPE that is necessary to go in to COVID rooms,” explained Blasingame.
Just like anyone else at BSA, these team members put themselves at risk of exposure every day to make the facility the saving grace it is.
Gallimore explained, “Every little inch is cleaned, every little inch is sprayed whenever I’m spraying it and we just make sure that everything, even all the paper towels are thrown away just to keep from giving it to another patient.”
Blasingame shared that their biggest concern has always been making sure their staff was and is protected. Additionally, that this entire pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone in the hospital, including her staff. She continued, “You know, dealing with sick patients and you know, just trying to encourage them and be supportive to our patients. Plus, as managers, trying to be supportive to our staff when they come down and have maybe lost patients that have passed away.”
To every single healthcare hero at our local, regional, and state hospitals – thank you.
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