We are all doing our part to prevent the spread of infection or "flatten the curve," as we so often hear. In order to accomplish this, most of us will have to simply stay home. There are others who are considered "essential" and required to continue to work during this pandemic. At this point, many would consider these essential workers to be heroes. Grocery store workers keep shelves stocked, police officers keep communities safe, and healthcare workers are doing everything to care for our everyday ailments as well as the massive influx of patients and complications due to this pandemic.
Today, I want to recognize healthcare workers specifically. Healthcare workers are on the front lines of this pandemic. Triaging/assessing, testing, and caring for the more severe cases of COVID-19. When we think of going to the clinic or hospital, we often think of nurses and physicians. While these two positions are critical in the healthcare system, there are SO MANY other medical personnel that make things happen and are working tirelessly during this pandemic. To name a few, nursing assistants, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, radiologists and radiology technicians, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, public health and so many more to include the environment services, who are responsible for disinfecting and keeping healthcare facilities clean and safe.
We've seen in the news, an outpouring of love and appreciation come from local communities. From praises, song, and even specially lit skyscrapers to honor our healthcare workers. Many citizens, while at home, doing their part, want to also show appreciation to the healthcare workers. Although community members may want to drop off gifts in person, or give grateful handshakes and hugs, the truth is, we all have to be extra-careful about avoiding the spread of this pandemic—even if we don’t have symptoms. So, how can we feel like we’re actually helping and giving thanks/showing appreciation to those on the front lines of this virus? What can you do?
Being a healthcare worker myself, I can say without a doubt, that we all appreciate food & snack. During my time working in the Emergency Department, I remember long 12 hour shifts where we'd be so busy that'd we'd lose track of time and totally miss lunch or dinner. We'd often be too busy to even think of our own needs. You can have food, (pizza is easy and common) delivered to the hospital or specific department within the hospital.
You can donate to charities and organizations that are providing helpful resources to hospitals. One example is the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP).
If you know a healthcare worker, you can offer to help them out with child or pet care. Because of the large demand right now for healthcare personnel, many are working long hours, almost daily.
Donate blood. Around our nation, many blood drives have been canceled due to the pandemic. While we often think of respiratory issues and ventilators, in regards to complications of COVID-19, hospitals are always in need of blood. If you are healthy, please donate blood!
If possible, STAY HOME, no matter how well you feel. Staying home "flattens the curve". This will help decrease the amount of patients our local hospitals will see and treat. If you have cold or flu like symptoms (non-severe), call your local clinic, urgent care or medical group first. Call to get the most up to date information on processes. Call to get a registered nurse's advice. In many cases, you will be able to self-treat with over the counter and at home remedies. In other cases, you may require treatment and care in the hospital.
These are just a few examples of what you can do to show appreciation for healthcare workers. These healthcare workers ARE heroes. Healthcare workers are made up of our fellow community members, family members, and friends. Let's pull together, show appreciation and do what we can to decrease the amount of patients that will need to be seen/treated in clinic or hospital. Let's work together to "flatten the curve".