Life on the frontlines has never been more trying for those working in the healthcare profession. They truly are heroes and we're so proud to spotlight our very own Chris Dachowski '19, an emergency room technician at Grand View Hospital, who shared his experience and reflection on what it's been like working and living during this pandemic.
by Chris Dachowski '19
I am a graduate of the class of 2019. I majored in biology and minored in chemistry and molecular biology. Currently I am an emergency room technician at Grand View Hospital. I work the night shift here where I deal with patients who come to the ER. I perform wound care, splinting treatments, take EKGs, and carry out general patient care.
During this pandemic everything has changed because of the possibility of infection. We change into and out of hospital issued scrubs before and after work so no one goes home in what they worked in. We also have an isolation area that cannot be entered unless the proper protective equipment is donned. We all have been working longer hours due to the loss of certain staff members, but we continue to work together and help each other out with the duties that must be performed.
Personally, I deal with patients who are coming in in an emergency fashion, so there is a mix of people who could be infected and people who are infected. Our goal is to take all the proper precautions and make sure each patient’s symptoms are known and identify whether those symptoms will place that patient into the isolation zone. With patients who have had a test and are confirmed to have the virus, we must all wear the respirators, gowns, gloves, face shields, and masks.
Every day I make it my goal to come into work and help the most people that I can while still keeping my self safe, and during the pandemic it has been harder on me. It can be scary having patients who could come in and are infected and without even knowing it. This is a risk that my coworkers and I face every day. However, we always protect ourselves and keep a positive attitude while working. It is much different working now than it was a few months ago. It is much more stressful because we have a greater risk of becoming infected and possibly infecting family members and friends. I have been attempting to avoid contact with anyone who comes in contact with someone who could be considered a high risk individual. This has led to a lot of self isolation for myself, but I am able to keep contact with friends via technology.
When this is all over, I will continue to work in the emergency room and help the community in all the ways that I can. I hope that my time in the emergency room during and outside the pandemic will prepare me for the future I hope to have in the healthcare system. It has taught me a lot about myself, others, and the community that I serve every day.
Here, we preach about social distancing and following all of the guidelines that are put out and updated every day. Do not leave your house unless you have to; it will keep yourself safe and others around you. If you know you have been exposed to someone with the virus, monitor your symptoms and try to avoid contact with as many people as you can to keep everyone around you healthy; this will help flatten the curve and hopefully end this fast.
To all my past, present, and future Griffins out there, I would just like to thank everyone for supporting all of us healthcare workers at this time. It means a lot to us to know that everyone is behind us being the best dear neighbor they can be.