Hometown Healing: Hidden heroes make sure hospitals stay virus-free
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As we cheer on our doctors and nurses treating patients on the frontlines everyday, people like Natashia Scott work in the shadows.
Scott, along with 265 other employees, make up Vidant Medical Center’s Environmental Service Team, but you might know them better as housekeepers. They suit up in full PPE every day, prepared to work overtime and ready to do their part to keep the hospital virus free.
“We disinfect and clean patient areas in the hospital to make sure it is clean and conducive for our patients,” said Natashia Scott, EVS Manager at Vidant Medical Center.
Scott’s team has the risky task of disinfecting every inch of the hospital rooms and touching every piece of equipment that might have been exposed to COVID-19.
“We have to touch every surface, like walls, and we have to take the curtains down. We’re touching every high-touch surface like light handles and door handles,” Scott explained.
Due to how contagious the virus is, Scott says they’ve had to take on a whole new level of cleaning since the pandemic started.
“We use disposable mops and cloths to prevent cross contamination. That way, it ensures that we’re not carrying anything to another room.”
Along with manpower, they’re using technology to help in the fight.
“We introduced solaris, which is a UV disinfect tool. It ensures all of the surfaces that we might not get are penetrated, sanitized and disinfected,” said Scott.
She says what was once a 30-minute job can now take up to an hour. She says that hour puts a lot of pressure on her staff.
“They are very anxious about things, like knowing that they are going to clean a room that a positive patient has been in,” Scott explained.
But like most things this year has taught us, Scott says the best way to get through it is together.
“I suit up and I go in with them. I show them exactly how to do it that way they can feel comfortable,” she said.
As they rely on each other, she says they know the rest of the hospital and community is relying on them.
“Our housekeepers are the real heroes. None of this would be possible without them,” Scott explained.
She says at the end of the day, the challenge is well worth it for every patient who gets to see another day.
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