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Let me preface this post by saying that I don’t work directly with COVID patients but I do work as a Respiratory Therapist at a large hospital that does care for them.
Let me preface this post again, because I have already gotten a few emails/DM’s, by saying that I am super thankful that I am able to keep working during the pandemic and that I am still getting a paycheck and I don’t take that for granted.
Ok, on to today’s post…
Getting up and going to work used to be such a mundane thing. I would get up, take a shower, get dressed and go to work. I would walk in the building and head straight to my floor where I would clock in, scrub in and get report on my patients for my shift. I would work my shift, drive home, take a quick shower and then go to bed. Pretty boring right? I only dream of living that pretty boring life right now.
Since the COVID crisis erupted in the United States life looks completely different these days. I still wake up, take a shower, get dressed and go to work. However as a part of my routine I have to log onto a website no more than 4 hours before my shift to complete a health assessment that determines whether I get to go to work that day or not. After completing my assessment I drive to work where I have to wear a mask from the time I get out of my car until I get back in it 12.5 hours later and I have to go through another assessment before walking in the doors of the hospital to start my shift. This assessment includes getting my temperature taken, someone scanning my badge to make sure I completed the online assessment, sanitizing my hands and getting a sticker to wear on my scrubs saying that I passed my health screenings.
And you have to do all of that while staying 6 feet apart from other people, which is pretty impossible since people are in your face taking your temp and scanning your badge and there is usually a long line of people waiting to get into the hospital at the same time you are.
Since all of these precautions have been implemented I have to leave my house 20-30 minutes earlier than usual to make sure I get through the lines so I’m not late for my shift. If you know me then you know how much I value my sleep and waking up early is NOT my jam but you do what you gotta do because you can’t be late!
Luckily after getting into the hospital things get a little easier. The work is still the same, just all done in a mask. Have you ever worn a mask for any length of time? It’s suffocating! Especially when you have chronic allergies and you can’t breathe out of your nose 99% of the time.
I feel like every time I sneeze or cough, which is often because of above mentioned allergies, I need to tell people that it’s not ‘rona, it’s my norm!
It’s a weird time to work in healthcare y’all.
Luckily leaving the hospital isn’t as crazy. I work nights so I do get weird looks because when I’m leaving I only have the sticker from the day before on and have to tell all of the screeners I pass on my way to my car that I work nights and it’s ok!
My getting home routine is a little easier than my leaving for work routine, my biggest complaint is that I wish I still lived in my house and had a garage I could strip in before going into my apartment. Instead of completely stripping down outside I only take my shoes and socks off before walking inside. I put them on a puppy pad I keep by the door and then spray them down with Lysol spray. Then I strip all of my clothing off and it goes straight into the washing machine where it gets washed on the hottest cycle possible.
Then I head to the shower where I use the hottest water setting to wash myself and my hair before heading to bed. I swear I haven’t washed my hair this much in a long time…it feels so weird now!
And that, friends, is my day to day routine getting ready to go to the hospital and coming home. It’s very high maintenance but it’s how things have to be done for now to keep both the staff and the patients safe!
Like I said earlier, it’s a weird time to work in healthcare.
Do you have any questions for me? Leave me a comment and I will try to answer them all as honestly as I can!