Hello everyone. I found it really hard to write about my passions this week with the world in chaos. Instead, I thought I would tell you a little about my world, in particular, food service in the hospital.
I work for a medium sized hospital, about 265 inpatient beds. We provide about 1500 meals per day including patients, cafeteria, doctor’s, catering, etc. Although my hospital isn’t the biggest in the county, it is well respected within the community and has been a major influence for the past 100 years.
With that being said, on to the pandemic.
An entire floor has been devoted to the COVID19 virus patients. This floor has specialized nurses that will service these patients during their stay with us. I want to point out,the world has never seen a pandemic—-no let me rephrase—–the world has never seen such hysteria and fear from a virus since the early 1900s. The COVID19 virus is less deadly than the flu but it is more contagious. If you look at the mortality rate for your state, I guarantee more people have died due to other viruses than COVID19.
The fear is real. Just yesterday, I listened in on a meeting my college was having her team. Her group takes the patient food orders and delivers them to the floor. They are on the front line so to speak of this pandemic, right alongside the patient care team.
It really hit home when she started speaking about the fear of the nurses and hospital staff due to this pandemic. The fear is real. I give props to the workers on the front lines. They show up knowing they could get infected, but they still give their all to help those in need.
Some of the precautions we have taken in the hospital are installing more sanitizer stations, removing chairs from the cafeteria, no self service stations like salad bars and beverage counters, and daily COVID19 testing.
The best thing happened today. The engineering team installed sanitizer stations in the elevators. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference. It makes sense. Everyone touches the buttons on the elevator. I felt proud to work for my hospital because they cared enough to care about my safety.
Currently, the management team is preparing to “tag out” if one of our associates contract COVID19. This is a full tag out. Another team would come into the hospital to ensure the patients are fed. With this being said, this is a huge undertaking. We are currently going through renovations and are working out a small 2 man food truck to provide 1500 meals per day. It’s a huge feat for a team that has no clue about our facility to come in and take over….successfully.
Tomorrow, I plan on pulling the team and putting together a “Tag Out” Book that will have all the necessary information for the next team to be successful. This book is going to have contact lists for hospital personnel, menus for both the cafeteria and patient services, as well as product order numbers for food items that will need to be ordered.
It is hard right now. We are on the outer edge of the great storm. How long it will last, who knows? What I do know is that we should be appreciative of our soldiers on the front line, of the parents who have to leave their kids at home so they can go and take care of the families in need, for the cashier at walmart, ingles and publix who expose themselves to several hundred people a day.
I went shopping the other day at the walmart and had nice little conversation with the cashier while I was checking out. She said that it is crazy the amount of rude, nasty, and just plain mean people she has seen since this pandemic began. I thanked her for coming to work and for exposing herself to the potential threat of this virus.
I hope, my friends, that the next time you go out and order food, or shop at the local convenience store, you will thank the person working for taking the risks they are taking.
So far, my hospital, the floor with 36 beds designated for COVID19, has 3 confirmed cases and 19 unconfirmed. This has happened within the past 3 days. I expect the next week or two to be really bad. The number of fatalities will more than triple and the amount fear and hysteria will rise.
How are you handling this pandemic? Are you practicing social distancing? Are you one of the workers on the front line? Whatever your case may be, I wish you the best.