Staff Reflections - Karen Retha

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The global pandemic of COVID-19 challenged even the most seasoned Infection Control Professional. A new emerging pathogen where information about its transmission and prevention was being released at what seemed like a moment’s notice and changing at an immense speed. The sheer volume of information was very overwhelming. Just when you felt you had a good handle on what was what…another change.

Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) was looked at for answers. Sometimes, finding that answer felt next to impossible as there wasn’t any guidance on that subject at that point in time. So, you drew upon your training about the basics of disease transmission and prevention.

The amount of pressure that all of us in IPC felt to provide the best direction to keep everyone safe and ensure optimum care for our patients was immense. Many hours of added work. Reading and rereading documents. Reviewing scenarios in your head. Ensuring the direction provided was evidence based. Staying calm and reassuring others all the while dealing with your own personal worries. Juggling numerous tasks and needing to decide which would be done first when all needed immediate attention.

But with challenges comes successes. My experience here was no different. New relationships were built.  Innovative ideas and actions emerged. Teamwork was at its finest. Everyone on site pulled together. A strong work family helps you weather any storm.

Karen Retha RN, BN
Infection Control Professional

To support the well-being of staff at Victoria Hospital and ACCESS Fort Garry, please make a gift today to our COVID-19 Critical Response Fund.