RN Samantha Johnson, Benji Rengasamy and Danielle Sanz
On the front line: protecting our hospitals from COVID-19 They are the first people we see when we walk into hospitals across our district and the front line against COVID-19 but our front door team aren’t daunted by the responsibility in front of them.
“It wasn’t easy but it had to be done.” For assistant in nursing Danielle Sanz, she saw it as a chance not just to keep everyone safe but also impart some much needed positivity given the unfolding situation. “With everyone, we have a smile on our face and we greet them happily and positively which hopefully has a domino effect on their day,” she said. Danielle said the team took pride in offering guidance in a period of constant change. “It’s good to be in this role working with the community, and if they have any questions we can help, we’re happy to be there to support them,” she said. “That’s my way of working - just to bring in that positivity, it helps to help each other.” Admin officer Benji Rengasamy said the staff always had to be switched on to ensure others were too. “We set the example for people walking into the hospital, how they should wear the masks, how to act in the serious situation we are in,” he said. “Hopefully everyone complies and things can go back to normal soon.” While the bright pink vests might not have been everyone’s first choice of colour, Danielle said it was perfect for a number of reasons, not just to get noticed. “It’s very vibrant and matches the hand Avagard sanitiser too!”
Tasked with taking temperatures, conducting health checks and relaying updated health guidelines the crack team of 40 staff at Royal North Shore Hospital alone, have been essential in keeping our staff, patients and visitors safe. But behind the masks are smiles from across hospitals and professions ranging from registered nurses, enrolled nurses, assistants in nursing and admin officers. Since early March, staff like registered nurse Samantha Johnson have been present at major entry points of Royal North Shore from 5am to 11pm, seven days a week. “Being at the hospital you can always be pulled into different roles,” she said. “COVID expanded quite quickly so it was just a matter of jumping in and helping out. It’s protecting the hospitals, the community and the patients.” Sam said the role was not without its challenges, but it was one she and her colleagues had embraced. “There’s been some huge challenges, like with the nominated visitors rules, only allowing one in, it was a really difficult time for patients who want all of their loved ones there but we have to follow the rules to protect everyone,” she said.
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