For healthcare workers like Lauren Guthrie, class of 2013, and Jennifer Brown, ’77, they describe the atmosphere they work in as “interesting” and “mind boggling”.
Working at an ExpressCare Urgent Care Center as a physician assistant, Jennifer Brown’s facility has experienced various circumstances ranging from patients coming in for a pregnancy test to others stealing medical supplies such as mask and gloves for their own benefit, making the job that much harder for Brown and others.
As the severity of the crisis increased, Brown became “personally frightened and worried about being immuno-compromised” as she returned to work after having surgery to combat ovarian cancer. Not wanting to jeopardize her own health, Jennifer explained how she adapted a mentality as if she was working in an operating room.
“Everything needs to be sanitized,” said Brown. Thinking before touching became a key factor in keeping herself safe.
As for Lauren Guthrie, a physician assistant at Brandywine Medical Associates in Wilmington, she and her associates have also been dealing with a mixture of appointment needs as they are care for their patients virtually through telemedicine and in person.
For in-person visits, “the patient must call when they’re in the parking lot before entering and the room is sterilized also before the patient enters. There is also personal protective equipment in each room,” said Guthrie. However, due to the high demand for medical supplies needed everywhere, it’s taking a toll on the practitioner’s office Guthrie works at as they struggle to get new equipment.
“We wear the same mask daily due to the shortage of supplies,” Guthrie said.
With daily operations being a little slower than usual, Guthrie decided to apply for a part-time position at Christiana hospital to help those who might need some time off. She said this was her way of wanting to do more with her free time.
One thing that has become evident for both Brown and Guthrie as they continue to work during this pandemic is how much people are struggling to stay home. Trying to lead by example, Brown said “when I’m home, I’m home. I don’t go anywhere.” Both healthcare workers said they can’t express it enough how crucial it is for others to obey the stay-at-home order.
Ursuline Academy officials recognize the many alums working in the health care field to keep so many people safe during this challenging time. “The Ursuline motto is Serviam, meaning ‘I will serve.’ Our alumnae embody the Ursuline tradition of Serviam more now than ever. We thank you and the Ursuline community commends your efforts.” – Joanna Arat ’99, Alumnae Relations Officer