COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Our routines and the way we are approach things look completely different now than they did five months ago. Information and protocols are also changing daily. At times, it can be hard to keep up.
To help ensure all hospital team members were following the latest personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines, Mercy Health – Fairfield Hospital formed a special group at the start of this pandemic. The “PPE team” is a multidisciplinary team comprised of two nurses and two physical therapists. They are Bonnie Hollandsworth, RN, stroke program coordinator, Patty Bennett, RN, clinical coordinator – recovery room/PACU, Jeremy Hesselbrock, PT, DPT, and Ryan Baker, DPT.
Together, this team worked with providers, caregivers and other hospital employees to clearly communicate guidelines regarding PPE usage and conservation, as well as patient care and provider safety.
“Each day, seven days per week, the PPE team members demonstrated flexibility and teamwork to cover all shifts. They worked throughout the hospital to make sure they connected with all departments,” says Jeremy Heinrich, PT, DPT, manager of rehabilitation services.
During this time, the PPE team rounded on each unit in the hospital to share the latest updates.
“Staff looked forward to our visits and gathered around so they could hear the daily updates,” Bonnie shares. “They knew we reported their issues and they saw action from our senior leadership in response to their concerns. It was rewarding to hear the creativity and ingenuity from different staff in various areas as we pulled together to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.”
In addition to their work educating employees about the latest PPE guidelines, the team helped develop workflows for patient care, PPE usage and reprocessing N95 masks. They also worked diligently to connect isolated patients with their loved ones through video chats.
“One of my favorite aspects of being on the PPE team was being able to connect families to see their loved ones through the virtual visits,” says Ryan. “Families were so grateful to be able to see their loved ones’ faces. To be able to spread joy and happiness during this time was very rewarding.”
The consistency the PPE team provided during this uncertain time was comforting as well as critical to the hospital’s response to COVID-19. As Jeremy Heinrich describes, the availability of the team gave employees an easily accessible resource to answer questions or seek assistance for their department.
He also adds, “I truly can’t say enough about the PPE team and their commitment to our hospital during these past challenging months. They worked extremely well together and were well received throughout the hospital. I believe they made a difference not only in the safety of our patients and employees, but also in reducing the level of anxiety in the hospital throughout these difficult times.”
Thank you, Bonnie, Patty, Jeremy and Ryan for your service to our ministry and to your fellow team members!
Stay updated on what Mercy Health is doing related to COVID-19.