In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrating National Clinicians Week had new meaning this year. Clinicians have risen to the challenge despite obstacles, including a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), that is forcing some to write their wills before starting their shifts. As of April, there were more than 9,000 health care workers in the country that have tested positive for the coronavirus.
As we see time and time again, our clinicians and health care workers continue to put forth a Herculean effort that is unmatched. With new Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and restrictions — specifically for long-term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) — clinicians have taken critical extra steps to protect residents, families and healthcare personnel (HCP). In addition to their esteem work in the healthcare facility, they are also providing pivotal outreach for patients and their loved ones who have been indirectly impacted by the pandemic.
A fellow naviHealth colleague has been finding ways to make a difference by thinking outside of the box. After SNFs in Arkansas began to experience their first cases of COVID-19 and went into lockdown to protect patients and clinicians alike, she knew she wanted to do something to help.
“If I was a [Certified Nursing Assistant] or someone in that facility, how would I feel?” she said. “I would feel scared.” In an effort to lift the spirits of the hardworking clinicians and their patients, she worked with an internal contact at a local SNF to make an impact.
But how could she lift the spirits of three dozen quarantined residents in a facility that she wasn’t even allowed to enter was going to be a challenge — a challenge she eagerly adopted.
It started with a sign that a friend donated that loudly proclaimed, “We love you!” and was big enough for residents to see from their windows—a good reminder that they were cared for. Then, after doing a little detective work, she figured out the favorite snacks of the staff working on site as well as letters and pictures drawn by children for the residents to enjoy.
She also caught word about an ongoing quarantine bingo game for the residents. Staff members would walk through the halls calling out numbers and the residents could play without leaving their room. Inspired, she gathered prizes for the winners, which included special goodies like adult coloring books, word searches, insulated tumblers, fuzzy socks, inspirational signs and more.
There are hundreds of impactful and heartwarming stories, just like this one, from around the country. These stories of selfless work will inspire future generations of clinicians and health care workers to come — it’s why this year’s National Clinicians Week is as important as ever.