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Unofficial COVID Queen Provides Support, Compassion
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Unofficial COVID Queen Provides Support, Compassion

01.27.2021

​When nurses began to feel the strain of working long hours in full personal protective equipment (PPE), caring for very sick patients who often did not recover, and developing relationships with their families, a Floyd clinician looked for an opportunity to help those nurses through their grief. She applied for, and received, a SPIRIT grant from Floyd Healthcare Foundation to fund care baskets and gifts to give to tired, grieving nurses.

When families lose a loved one, especially in Floyd's new limited-visitation environment, the opportunities to say goodbye are often limited, robbing family members of memories and closure. But, a Floyd co-worker took an idea to help and found financial support for the idea. Nurses can now print and preserve a copy of a portion of the patient's heart rhythm from their electrocardiogram. The printed rhythm is given to families to provide them with a lasting memory of their family member.

When Floyd began to use more agency-employed nurses to fill nursing positions due to staff missing work because of COVID-related illnesses in their families, a Floyd employee took ownership of all the agency nurses, helping with their first day and orienting them to Floyd. That same employee standardized the onboarding experience for these agency nurses, organizing packages filled with important information and their first-issue PPE to help them be fully prepared for their first day.

When Floyd opened the Infectious Disease Unit in the northeast wing, it was a brand-new nursing unit designed to take care of some of Floyd's sickest COVID patients. A Floyd unit secretary took the lead in detailing every item that nurses needed prior to the unit opening. From well-stocked Omnicells and nutrition refrigerators down to preferred types of folders, pens and notepads, her organization helped make the transition as smooth as possible for staff. Her effort was so successful, she was asked to do the same for the 3300 Unit and the B20 field hospital when they opened.

When Employee Wellness sought to establish a rest and relaxation room on the second floor of the northeast wing, a place for tired staff to recuperate with a quick automated chair massage and aroma therapy, a Floyd co-worker helped set up the room and champion its use.

And, when a patient family needs reassurance from someone who has lived out a similar journey, a Floyd employee called some former COVID patients who had recovered to ask if they would be willing to share their story. Now, when this need arises, that employee connects these patient families, providing a special brand of understanding that is unique to them.

Each of these efforts have a common denominator: Stacy Fowler, a phlebotomist by training, who, according to some of her peers, has the unofficial title of COVID Queen. The care packages? That's Stacy. The EKG print outs? Again, Stacy. Agency nurse orientation? Stacy handles that.  Unit planning? That was Stacy, too. Rest and relaxation helper? You guessed it. Connecting patient families? Stacy.

Stacy, who now works as a staffing specialist in the Care Coordination hub, rose to the occasion like so many others, and quickly became a resource for patients, families and staff when the COVID-19 virus began to spread in our community. Now, nearly 11 months after the first patient appeared in Floyd's Emergency Care Center, Stacy's compassion, empathy, organizational skills and ability to think quickly and creatively have made her a valuable Floyd resource.