To protect the well-being of our patients, Androscoggin will be:
• Using CDC approved guidelines for personal protective equipment when caring for patients
• Conducting health screenings for each employee everyday to evaluate fitness for duty
• Promoting social distancing in all of our work
• Sharing information with all employees as the public health response continues to emerge
Meet Home Health Registered Nurse extraordinaire, Katie Sappington! Katie is a 2010 graduate of Central Maine Medical Center’s Nursing School with a Bachelors in Nursing. Katie has worked at Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice for the past eight years as a Home Health Nurse and Preceptor in the Norway office.
Home health care helps patients recover from illness and regain strength to live more independently in the comfort of their homes. Like Katie’s team, home health clinical teams include local and trusted nurses, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, and home health aides. Together they support the needs of patients recuperating from surgery, or managing a chronic condition or illness.
In addition to her own caseload of patients, Katie is a preceptor teaching newly hired nurses home care nursing. Says Katie, “As home care nurses we are specialists of everything. It’s so different from caring for patients in a hospital setting. You simply can’t ask your supervisor to walk down the hall to a patient’s room and provide guidance. Home health nurses are independent, but they are not alone.” They can easily contact Katie, their supervisor, or jump on a confidential group chat with other nursing staff when needed.
Katie and her team have worked tirelessly navigating COVID-19. She said, “There’s so much we don’t know about the Coronavirus and how it will affect us. It’s the unknown that is scary. I’m disappointed when I see local and national news stories of people not following the CDC guidelines. They put themselves and all of us at so much risk.” It can often feel disheartening for frontline clinical staff who must follow strict medical protocols to keep themselves and their patients healthy and safe to watch the public’s reaction.
We all yearn to go back to what life was like before the pandemic. For Katie and her team, it’s a struggle to not see one another every day and the friendships they’ve formed that renew their strength to care for others. A hug after a particular hard day, once typical, is now mourned. While they visit together from their cars in the office parking lot and attend Zoom meetings, sharing their work and personal lives is part of their work culture that is sorely missed. “Celebrating staff birthdays, new babies, and other milestones are so much a part of who we are as a team,” says Katie.
Katie’s advice to all, “Don’t panic – love one another- find a way to do good, and don’t forget to wash your hands!”
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