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Health care workers provide positive example for all

THURS. | 9-17-20 | FEATURES

     Throughout this pandemic, essential workers have gone above and beyond to keep everyone safe. Health care workers are especially on the front lines caring for all those diagnosed with COVID-19, some risking their lives on a daily basis. The pandemic has been a hardship on all students, but those with parents in the health care field have faced additional adversity.  

     In order to prevent any further spread of the virus, senior Noelle de Vente’s father, the Labor and Delivery Director at Vidant Medical Center, wrote the COVID-19 safety guidelines for the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department. While the guidelines differ depending on the unit, an experience shared across the medical community is the need to keep everyone safe. So, in addition to wearing all necessary Personal Protective Equipment at work, de Vente’s father also takes new precautions when coming home. 

     “Another precaution my dad does is that whenever he comes home he always leaves his clothes at the hospital so that he is not bringing his clothes back and forth,” de Vente said. 

     In her role as a Physical Therapist at Vidant, sophomore Tyler Morgan’s mom is aware of the many different surfaces the virus can live on and makes sure that their family is careful about what is brought into the house both from the hospital and elsewhere.

     “The extra precautions we take include wiping down all our purchases- groceries, or other goods from stores before bringing [them] into the house,” Morgan said. “Of course wearing a mask everywhere in public, washing our hands a lot, and in general, we still just try to stay home or away from crowds and mass gatherings.” 

     Senior Lucy Ogle is particularly aware of the risks of spreading COVID-19 as both of her parents work in the medical field and her mother is a nurse at Eastern Oncology.

     “It’s just really important as a family for all of us to be very safe in where we go, because especially their patients, and with especially my mom, dealing with older cancer patients, they are the most vulnerable during this time, so we really have to watch what we do and act as a family as well,” Ogle said. 

     De Vente’s mother also works in health care as a professor with the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at East Carolina University. She has taught de Vente to carefully follow COVID-19 guidelines because of the widespread effects one person’s decisions can have. 

     “What I do doesn't only affect my parents, but also affects all of the people I come into contact with [and] all of their patients,” de Vente said.

     Junior Brena Gauland, has gained similar insights from her father, a Foot and Ankle Surgeon in private practice. He takes many precautions both at his office and around her family members. For example, he completes temperature checks, wears a mask at all times and stays six feet away when in public or visiting with their grandparents. Seeing many of her peers choose not to follow COVID-19 guidelines outside of school, however, has been very concerning for Gauland.

     “I haven’t given anyone a hug since March nor gone out to eat or anything ... so the thought of other people being a little bit selfish sometimes and not doing the same is very very frustrating,” Gauland said. “We’ll have pool parties later, just wait a little bit because this will be over, but just think about the lives that you could save.”

     Her final words of advice for her classmates as they continue this school year were to wear a mask and to maintain the recommended six feet of distance. 

     “Remember when you were little and everyone wanted to be a superhero?” Gauland said. “Well, now’s your chance!”

Why you should consider BEING A BLOOD DO

      Infographic by Tierney Reardon

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