Life in the Emergency Department is often hectic and unpredictable, but nurse Audrey Scott says the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked deeper connections between staff and the community.
Scott, who is assistant nurse manager of the Hartford Hospital Emergency Department, said during a March 26 press briefing that she is “so inspired by the morale and resilience” of the staff as they process incoming patients suspected of having COVID-19 as well as the variety of other emergencies presenting at an urban medical center.
“The camaraderie in the Emergency Department is unchanged,” she said. “Our department thrives on teamwork as we navigate unexpected situations and, to us, this is just another one. It’s a national pandemic but it’s just finding out how to manage a different type of situation that’s thrown at us and how to do this as a team.”
With an emphasis on safety and preparedness, she said her team has spent “endless amounts of time” preparing for such a crisis and exploring ways to keep both staff and patients safe.
That has included:
- Pushing the emergency department check-in, or triage, process physically further out of the main department with a process called “forward triage.”
- Mindfully conserving personal protection equipment (PPE).
- Ensuring the most experienced clinical staff is screening every patient coming into the building to ensure that they are treated in the most appropriate area of the emergency department.
Scott acknowledged the support of the community as the clinicians work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Community support is what really keeps us going – we see it, we hear it and we are so thankful for it,” she said. “Thank you for supporting us so we are able to continue supporting you and do the job we feel born to do and we love to do and we will continue to be here to provide that patient care as you need it.”
It was a sentiment stressed earlier in the briefing by Keith Grant, APRN, Hartford HealthCare’s director of infection prevention.
“The community has gotten much closer than I’ve ever seen,” he said, “and it’s not just from a healthcare perspective. I think there are alliances and movements, even within the Hartford HealthCare community…
The meetings we’re having, the communications we’re having, the alliances we’re forming – I think that’s to be maintained. If we live and maintain on that, we have a very, very bright future coming out of this,” he said.
Not feeling well? Call your healthcare provider for guidance and try to avoid going directly to an emergency department or urgent care center, as this could increase the chances of the disease spreading.
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