As a unit secretary in the ICU at Mather Hospital, SJC Long Island sophomore nursing student Jenna Friedman works on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is frightening going into work and not going to know what will happen that day,” said Friedman, a unit secretary for the ICU in Northwell Health’s Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson. “On the other hand, it is rewarding knowing that even slightly I am making a difference.”
At work, Friedman ensures that she takes the proper precautions: “Before entering any room, I have to gown up and put masks on.”
Because family members cannot visit the hospital, Friedman helps patients communicate with their loved ones via phone and video chats. Despite the hardships of her job, Friedman shared that the most rewarding part was seeing patients make full recoveries.
When not working with patients directly, Friedman stocks supplies, retrieves medications and assembles patient charts.
Even with the pandemic changing daily routines, Freidman works to make sure she keeps her family healthy. She continues to say, “I keep a change of clothes in my garage and change out of my scrubs before entering my house.”
As healthcare workers enter Mather Hospital every day, the can’t help but see a large sign erected in front of the hospital to help encourage workers at the facility. Friedman explained that “mentioned on the sign is how many patients were taken off ventilators that day, and how many patients have been discharged with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.”
As Friedman prepares for graduation in 2022, she continues to garner experience during an important time of history.
This story is part of OnCampus’ “Answering the Call” series, focusing on St. Joseph’s College students and alumni working outside their homes in essential jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.