Every crisis has its heroes. For us, the crisis is the COVID-19 pandemic. Our heroes are clearly the frontline health care workers who’ve been there from day one, healing and helping us recover.
Management at Group Health Centre in Sault Ste. Marie honours their staff by publicly recognizing the incredible efforts from the physicians to the housekeeping staff. But they particularly want to pay tribute to their nurses.
Alex Lambert, the CEO and President of Group Health Centre said the commitment of GHC’s more than 100 nurses and nurse practitioners was the reason the organization was able to keep serving the community through the pandemic. Lambert said, “we couldn’t have navigated through and provided the care we needed to provide without them.”
In the spring of 2020, during the first lockdown when most people were staying close to home, GHC’s nurses were not only working, they were also taking on extra duties.
When child-care needs and self-isolation rules forced their colleagues to stay home, other nurses were willing to step in and work longer hours. They were flexible; readily adapting to the challenges of moving from hands-on to virtual patient care. With the assistance of the clerical and administration staff, they were able to cover multiple offices and adapted to a new model of care.
“The nurses at GHC are professional, dedicated and passionate,” said Lambert. “They have this great attitude to get the work done.” Caring for patients through layers of PPE, including masks and shields is not easy. Dealing with the stress of protecting their families against infection was even more difficult. But the nursing team at GHC made extraordinary sacrifices responding to the needs of their patients and understandably, they are exhausted.
Despite the heavy workload, many members of the team at Group Health Centre were willing to take on weekend shifts at the mass vaccination in Sault Ste. Marie. The nursing team was there at the beginning of the pandemic and they are still there for their community more than a year later as an end to this crisis appears to be in sight.
Said Lambert, “I’d like to thank them on behalf of the management team, the board and the physician group.”
The nursing staff have been dealing with extraordinary challenges to care for people. They truly are pandemic heroes.