We want to share with you what our work looks like these days from the prospective of a front-line healthcare worker. Meet Laura Martino, NP-C.
“I am often asked, ‘What has changed since the start of COVID-19?’ The simplest answer I can give is a paradoxical ‘everything and nothing.’
We’ve adjusted most every piece of clinical operations to insure patient and staff safety – countless hours of problem-solving, implementing an outdoor screening tent to evaluate patients for symptoms before entering the building, working and re-working patient flow, combing through daily CDC updates and participating in conference calls with the local health department about county infection rates, figuring out how to get patients tested when they have no reliable transportation, working with limited PPE while soaked in sweat outdoors, and trying to maintain a level of dignity for the patient.
The truth is that it has been hard, exhausting, and very, very stressful.
I will never forget a tent visit with a patient who told me of his recent hospitalization due to COVID-19. His wife was symptomatic first, and he dropped her off at the ER for evaluation and subsequent hospital admission. He was admitted the next day. He shared with me that he didn’t know that the next time he would see his wife would be as she was being removed from the ventilator as she died of complications from the virus. He was still recovering from the physical toll of the virus while grieving the loss of his bride. He could see my tears through my N95 mask, face shield, and overly worn gown as I prayed for him. There was not much medicine could do for him in that moment that compassion would not best.
I’ve seen the devastating physical, emotional, financial, and communal toll of the virus on our patients. Even then, what hasn’t changed in our clinic is the deep love and care that our staff and providers offer our patients during this season of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. Our patients are still counting on us to show up and provide care for both their healthcare needs and their souls. I’ve seen the hands and feet of Jesus through our staff who have lovingly suited up and cared for patients who are ill and scared. Our mission hasn’t changed whatsoever as we press forward – that every person who comes through our doors would know the love of Jesus – even in the tremendous challenges of a pandemic.”
Laura Martino, NP-C
Director, Clinical Operations
Laura came to Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett as a Nurse Practitioner student in 2012, later served as a devoted volunteer, and has been a member of the staff since 2016. We have screened nearly 6,700 people since Georgia’s first COVID-19 case; 116 were suspicious for the virus and 46 have tested positive. Please keep our staff in your prayers.