Juravinski hospital staff show resiliency in face of coronavirus pandemic

News Mar 30, 2020 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

While the coronavirus pandemic has caused a seismic change in the way many people are working, it’s pretty much business as reasonably usual at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

“I feel for our patients and their family members who can’t be with them for their treatments,” said Lauren Vanderlee, a registered nurse at the Concession Street hospital who works in the oncology day services unit.

She noted the no-visitor rule implemented by Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) on March 20 has made the area where she works quieter, but it hasn’t affected her workload.

“Many of our patients we care for over many months, even years,” Vanderlee said. “You get to know their family and their friends, so I definitely miss seeing some familiar faces around, but I know it’s all for the greater good.”

Vanderlee said her number one concern is for cancer patients whose immune systems have been weakened by their treatments.

“This virus has the ability to make people really sick and for some patients, that could mean death,” she said. “As a care provider, I am acutely aware that I can be a carrier, so I worry about somehow transferring the virus without knowing and causing illness.”

Vanderlee said she is also concerned whether they will have enough protective equipment like masks and gloves to see them through the pandemic.

“We know that the worst is yet to come, so it feels like a tidal wave is coming and all we can do is brace for impact,” she said.

Vanderlee said the pandemic has forced HHS to re-evaluate how they do some things, such as extending the length of time between patient visits.

“Things are changing so rapidly, and we just have to be ready for anything,” she said. “It’s definitely hard, but I’m so lucky to work with a great team that keeps laughter and communication at the top of our priority list.”

Vanderlee noted while her family hasn’t said anything directly to her, she knows they are concerned when she goes to work.

“I know this from the little things they are doing and saying,” she said. “My husband has been amazing. He checks in far more frequently than ever before and has taken the majority of the work around the house to ease my workload and my dad sends me videos of his community making noise every night at 7:30 for health care workers, usually accompanied with a little love note of support.”

Joanna Gusciora is a social worker in the oncology day services unit.

She said the pandemic has changed the way she helps patients.

“I am connecting with many patients by phone, rather than through clinic visits,” she said. I am reaching out to patients that may be particularly impacted from an emotional standpoint by social distancing along with the many other challenges they are experiencing as a result of their underlying diagnosis. It is important to remember that as social workers our role is also to provide support to our fellow colleagues, too.”

Dr. Sameer Sharif, an emergency department physician the Juravinski hospital, says he’s noticed a slight increase in anxiety among the people he sees.

“The anxiety seems to be stemming from their concerns about them and their loved ones being infected,” he said. “We've created a handout for our patients so that they can better understand the disease process and know what signs to watch out for.”

Sharif agrees with Vanderlee that the no visitors policy has made the hospital much a lot quieter than usual.

“At times, it feels like this is the calm before the storm,” he said. “With that being said, all of us in the hospital are doing our best to keep family members abreast of the health care status of their loved ones via telephone. “

When asked how he feels about being called a hero, Sharif noted it’s a team effort that goes beyond health care workers.

I firmly believe that our first responders, nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, environmental aides, hospital cleaners, people who work in the grocery stores, the people who are listening to our pleas to stay at home and help each other are all the heroes,” he said. “We are truly in this together.”

Anita Lamond, director of HHS corporate services, said they have more than 300 cleaning staff working at all their hospitals each day.

“These staff are trained in best practices to keep our hospitals clean and safe, including the appropriate use of personal protective equipment based on expert recommendations from our Infection Prevention and Control team,” she said. “We are closely following these recommendations and directives from subject matter experts internationally and at the provincial and federal level to ensure we continue to deliver best care during this pandemic.”

Hamilton Health Sciences has also contracted Crothall Healthcare for housekeeping and cleaning services in ambulatory and public areas of its hospitals

Crothall is currently hiring for these jobs in Hamilton through Compass Canada.

See: careers.compass-canada.com for more information.

HHS chief executive officer Rob MacIsaac praised the work of hospital staff in a March 29 statement.

“We can all take comfort in knowing that we are heading into this challenge with some of the most talented, educated, experienced, and passionate people on the planet forming the HHS team,” MacIsaac said. “Through the hard work and sacrifice of many people, we have reduced our occupancy, making enough room for a significant influx of COVID-19 patients.”


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: With coronavirus dominating the headlines, we wanted to find out how frontline health-care workers are making a difference and to salute them for their efforts.

 

Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre staff show resiliency in face of coronavirus pandemic

Concerns about patients with weakened immune systems #supportourheroes

News Mar 30, 2020 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

While the coronavirus pandemic has caused a seismic change in the way many people are working, it’s pretty much business as reasonably usual at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

“I feel for our patients and their family members who can’t be with them for their treatments,” said Lauren Vanderlee, a registered nurse at the Concession Street hospital who works in the oncology day services unit.

She noted the no-visitor rule implemented by Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) on March 20 has made the area where she works quieter, but it hasn’t affected her workload.

“Many of our patients we care for over many months, even years,” Vanderlee said. “You get to know their family and their friends, so I definitely miss seeing some familiar faces around, but I know it’s all for the greater good.”

“I feel for our patients and their family members who can’t be with them for their treatments" - Lauren Vanderlee

Vanderlee said her number one concern is for cancer patients whose immune systems have been weakened by their treatments.

“This virus has the ability to make people really sick and for some patients, that could mean death,” she said. “As a care provider, I am acutely aware that I can be a carrier, so I worry about somehow transferring the virus without knowing and causing illness.”

Vanderlee said she is also concerned whether they will have enough protective equipment like masks and gloves to see them through the pandemic.

“We know that the worst is yet to come, so it feels like a tidal wave is coming and all we can do is brace for impact,” she said.

Vanderlee said the pandemic has forced HHS to re-evaluate how they do some things, such as extending the length of time between patient visits.

“Things are changing so rapidly, and we just have to be ready for anything,” she said. “It’s definitely hard, but I’m so lucky to work with a great team that keeps laughter and communication at the top of our priority list.”

Vanderlee noted while her family hasn’t said anything directly to her, she knows they are concerned when she goes to work.

“I know this from the little things they are doing and saying,” she said. “My husband has been amazing. He checks in far more frequently than ever before and has taken the majority of the work around the house to ease my workload and my dad sends me videos of his community making noise every night at 7:30 for health care workers, usually accompanied with a little love note of support.”

Joanna Gusciora is a social worker in the oncology day services unit.

She said the pandemic has changed the way she helps patients.

“I am connecting with many patients by phone, rather than through clinic visits,” she said. I am reaching out to patients that may be particularly impacted from an emotional standpoint by social distancing along with the many other challenges they are experiencing as a result of their underlying diagnosis. It is important to remember that as social workers our role is also to provide support to our fellow colleagues, too.”

Dr. Sameer Sharif, an emergency department physician the Juravinski hospital, says he’s noticed a slight increase in anxiety among the people he sees.

“The anxiety seems to be stemming from their concerns about them and their loved ones being infected,” he said. “We've created a handout for our patients so that they can better understand the disease process and know what signs to watch out for.”

Sharif agrees with Vanderlee that the no visitors policy has made the hospital much a lot quieter than usual.

“At times, it feels like this is the calm before the storm,” he said. “With that being said, all of us in the hospital are doing our best to keep family members abreast of the health care status of their loved ones via telephone. “

When asked how he feels about being called a hero, Sharif noted it’s a team effort that goes beyond health care workers.

I firmly believe that our first responders, nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, environmental aides, hospital cleaners, people who work in the grocery stores, the people who are listening to our pleas to stay at home and help each other are all the heroes,” he said. “We are truly in this together.”

Anita Lamond, director of HHS corporate services, said they have more than 300 cleaning staff working at all their hospitals each day.

“These staff are trained in best practices to keep our hospitals clean and safe, including the appropriate use of personal protective equipment based on expert recommendations from our Infection Prevention and Control team,” she said. “We are closely following these recommendations and directives from subject matter experts internationally and at the provincial and federal level to ensure we continue to deliver best care during this pandemic.”

Hamilton Health Sciences has also contracted Crothall Healthcare for housekeeping and cleaning services in ambulatory and public areas of its hospitals

Crothall is currently hiring for these jobs in Hamilton through Compass Canada.

See: careers.compass-canada.com for more information.

HHS chief executive officer Rob MacIsaac praised the work of hospital staff in a March 29 statement.

“We can all take comfort in knowing that we are heading into this challenge with some of the most talented, educated, experienced, and passionate people on the planet forming the HHS team,” MacIsaac said. “Through the hard work and sacrifice of many people, we have reduced our occupancy, making enough room for a significant influx of COVID-19 patients.”


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: With coronavirus dominating the headlines, we wanted to find out how frontline health-care workers are making a difference and to salute them for their efforts.

 

Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre staff show resiliency in face of coronavirus pandemic

Concerns about patients with weakened immune systems #supportourheroes

News Mar 30, 2020 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

While the coronavirus pandemic has caused a seismic change in the way many people are working, it’s pretty much business as reasonably usual at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

“I feel for our patients and their family members who can’t be with them for their treatments,” said Lauren Vanderlee, a registered nurse at the Concession Street hospital who works in the oncology day services unit.

She noted the no-visitor rule implemented by Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) on March 20 has made the area where she works quieter, but it hasn’t affected her workload.

“Many of our patients we care for over many months, even years,” Vanderlee said. “You get to know their family and their friends, so I definitely miss seeing some familiar faces around, but I know it’s all for the greater good.”

“I feel for our patients and their family members who can’t be with them for their treatments" - Lauren Vanderlee

Vanderlee said her number one concern is for cancer patients whose immune systems have been weakened by their treatments.

“This virus has the ability to make people really sick and for some patients, that could mean death,” she said. “As a care provider, I am acutely aware that I can be a carrier, so I worry about somehow transferring the virus without knowing and causing illness.”

Vanderlee said she is also concerned whether they will have enough protective equipment like masks and gloves to see them through the pandemic.

“We know that the worst is yet to come, so it feels like a tidal wave is coming and all we can do is brace for impact,” she said.

Vanderlee said the pandemic has forced HHS to re-evaluate how they do some things, such as extending the length of time between patient visits.

“Things are changing so rapidly, and we just have to be ready for anything,” she said. “It’s definitely hard, but I’m so lucky to work with a great team that keeps laughter and communication at the top of our priority list.”

Vanderlee noted while her family hasn’t said anything directly to her, she knows they are concerned when she goes to work.

“I know this from the little things they are doing and saying,” she said. “My husband has been amazing. He checks in far more frequently than ever before and has taken the majority of the work around the house to ease my workload and my dad sends me videos of his community making noise every night at 7:30 for health care workers, usually accompanied with a little love note of support.”

Joanna Gusciora is a social worker in the oncology day services unit.

She said the pandemic has changed the way she helps patients.

“I am connecting with many patients by phone, rather than through clinic visits,” she said. I am reaching out to patients that may be particularly impacted from an emotional standpoint by social distancing along with the many other challenges they are experiencing as a result of their underlying diagnosis. It is important to remember that as social workers our role is also to provide support to our fellow colleagues, too.”

Dr. Sameer Sharif, an emergency department physician the Juravinski hospital, says he’s noticed a slight increase in anxiety among the people he sees.

“The anxiety seems to be stemming from their concerns about them and their loved ones being infected,” he said. “We've created a handout for our patients so that they can better understand the disease process and know what signs to watch out for.”

Sharif agrees with Vanderlee that the no visitors policy has made the hospital much a lot quieter than usual.

“At times, it feels like this is the calm before the storm,” he said. “With that being said, all of us in the hospital are doing our best to keep family members abreast of the health care status of their loved ones via telephone. “

When asked how he feels about being called a hero, Sharif noted it’s a team effort that goes beyond health care workers.

I firmly believe that our first responders, nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, environmental aides, hospital cleaners, people who work in the grocery stores, the people who are listening to our pleas to stay at home and help each other are all the heroes,” he said. “We are truly in this together.”

Anita Lamond, director of HHS corporate services, said they have more than 300 cleaning staff working at all their hospitals each day.

“These staff are trained in best practices to keep our hospitals clean and safe, including the appropriate use of personal protective equipment based on expert recommendations from our Infection Prevention and Control team,” she said. “We are closely following these recommendations and directives from subject matter experts internationally and at the provincial and federal level to ensure we continue to deliver best care during this pandemic.”

Hamilton Health Sciences has also contracted Crothall Healthcare for housekeeping and cleaning services in ambulatory and public areas of its hospitals

Crothall is currently hiring for these jobs in Hamilton through Compass Canada.

See: careers.compass-canada.com for more information.

HHS chief executive officer Rob MacIsaac praised the work of hospital staff in a March 29 statement.

“We can all take comfort in knowing that we are heading into this challenge with some of the most talented, educated, experienced, and passionate people on the planet forming the HHS team,” MacIsaac said. “Through the hard work and sacrifice of many people, we have reduced our occupancy, making enough room for a significant influx of COVID-19 patients.”


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: With coronavirus dominating the headlines, we wanted to find out how frontline health-care workers are making a difference and to salute them for their efforts.