In the beginning, it felt as if new guidance, protocols, emergency health orders, and ideas about how to manage this disease were changing every 15 minutes. The pace was unbelievable.
During that time, I told myself – don’t look back. The decisions that were made from a national, state, local, and at our facilities was made with the best information at the time.
Our medical director told us this could go on for 2 years. I hoped she was wrong. I don’t think she is. I told myself – I’m going to have to buckle in for the long haul. So, I take each day as it comes and don’t worry too much about next week or next month. 2021 is not even on my radar.
Grace. I say this word to myself many times throughout each day. As this pandemic affects EVERYONE, we need to have grace with each other.
I know all health care providers are better at infection control. I know regular citizens are better at infection control. I know that most everyone wants to protect their family members, their neighbors, and their community. I think all of us have had the opportunity to evaluate our priorities – what makes us happy and where do we want to focus our energy.
The Long Term Care profession is becoming more focused, together. Efforts through the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the ECHO training program will help to ensure we have the best information, from experts, and the educational model to teach all staff. The national focus on Long Term Care is a positive. We have been the forgotten part of health care for way too long. I look forward to what the next 1-3 years bring for the profession I have dedicated 37 years to.
The pandemic has been hard. It has taught us knew ways of caring for each other. It has brought Long Term Care, public health, CMS, CDC, HHS, and others together. Our new learning and experiences must make us better going forward. Otherwise, what was it all for?
Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Yvonne Myers, Health Systems Director with Columbine Health Systems and may be reached at 970-482-0198 or firstname.lastname@example.org