coronavirus medical gear

Working During Covid

At the end of 2019, in the pre-COVID era, I began working at Temple Hospital as a Hearing Screener. Every day, I would drive to Temple, go up to the maternity floor, wash my hands and get started on my work for the day. When I would go into the rooms, they would be filled with excited family members, joyful new mothers, and the cutest newborn babies. At the time the only personal protection equipment I would use were medical gloves that I would change after each baby I would screen. Fast forward to quarantine; my job began to change drastically. Every day, I would walk into the hospital only to be met with a long line of people waiting to get their temperature taken, after that I would be given a new mask and head upstairs. When I would get upstairs, I would wash my hands, put a face shield on, and change my gloves before entering each room. The rooms were different too; instead of excited family members, the new moms would be limited to only one guest for the duration of their stay at the hospital. Also, in the NICU I would have to wear all of the personal protection equipment as in the other rooms, plus a surgical gown. Like the rules in the rest of the rooms, visitors in the NICU were limited to one parent at a time, one guest a day, for the duration of the baby’s treatment plan.

In March, I flew to Atlanta to visit my family. Prior to my return to work I had to get a COVID test, I was nervous to see how the test would actually feel. I was sent to a hospital and directed to an outdoor testing site where they were administering the test. The doctor came out and after asking me a few questions about my history and possible symptoms, she had me stick my head out of my window and tilt it all the way back. She then stuck a long q-tip up my nose so far, I thought she was going to pull my brain out… yuck! It was unpleasant to say the least, but lucky for me it was negative. I was able to return to work as normal and I continued working all throughout quarantine and the remainder of the school year. Saying I got to work during this time period is something that I will never forget because of how different my work environment was compared to usual and compared to so many others. I was also very grateful to have a job at all during this time when so many others were unable to work. Thank you to all of our healthcare and frontline workers!