Jun 9, 2020 | COVID-19
Donning full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) isn’t something that Kim Larose and her registration team are often asked to do.
“We wear surgical masks, because our work often means winding through clinical areas,” Larose, the manager of Patient Registration and Health Records Clerical, said. “But that first day, as a clerical staff member, putting on the full PPE at the long-term care home really stands out.”
And it was a new role her team readily stepped into: registering all the patients and staff members at the long-term care homes affiliated with QCH.
Larose had been tapped to help plan how her team would support the work being done in the care home. And, as soon as she was given the green light, she found herself rushing over to the West COVID-19 Care Clinic to ask her staff if they’d be willing to get the ball rolling by pre-registering staff and patients at the home.
Everyone immediately agreed.
“It was a lengthy process, and I think we were registering people until 9:30 pm that night,” Larose continued. “We registered a few hundred residents so that we had all the paperwork neatly organized and ready for the unit deployment team the next day. This also included placing the orders for the swabs through Meditech – which is something registration would never normally do.”
Jamie Cockram, who works as a registration clerk in ED, was one of the few team members with frontline care experience. Originally a nurse on A3, a position she held for 10 years, she’s now working for registration and bedboard.
“I can’t do things I would have normally done in this situation as a nurse, but when Kim asked me if I wanted to help the community and try to get this under control, I said yes,” Cockram explained. “I would do anything. And if they asked again, hands down, ‘yes’ would be out of my mouth before they finished asking the question.”
“It made every one of us involved feel valued, made us feel important to some extent.”
Along with the initial registration, the team was also responsible for arranging all the patient and swabbing documents so that the physicians and nurses could easily go room-to-room at the care home to perform the swabs. It was a an effective organizational trick that decreased the time spent looking for documentation, and increased the amount of time for patient care.
And with the full PPE on, the team felt like they were finally a part of the frontline care team.
“Our roles didn’t matter to them – they were thankful that we were there, and we felt like true frontline staff,” Larose explained. “Registration doesn’t get a lot of that – we start the patient visit, but we’re not nurses or doctors or caregivers. So being included, we felt like we were all there doing a job, and the people at the home were thankful that we were there looking after them.
“That was powerful to me.”