Branden Da Silva: “I joined Osler at the start of COVID-19.”
Most people ease into a new job—maybe there’s an orientation and a couple of slow days. But Infection Control Practitioner, Branden Da Silva joined the Osler team in March, at the start of the pandemic.
“I was thrown right in it,” he says. “But you know what, it's been a great experience. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Osler. I’ve met so many great people. And there’s just been such great work done for patient care.”
PROVIDING EDUCATION AND SUPPORT
As an Infection Control Practitioner, Branden helps to prevent the spread of infection and control outbreaks. He also educates staff on the latest evidence-based practices to keep themselves and their patients safe from infectious diseases. Currently he supports the Emergency Department and the fourth floor of Etobicoke General, which includes pediatrics, the mother and baby unit, NICU and the birthing suite.
His early role was to provide education and support while Osler opened one of the first COVID-19 assessment centre in Ontario. “Initially there was a lot of anxiety with this being so new, so a part of the role was combating those fears and anxiety as well, so that staff could feel safe and confident at work,” Branden says.
New evidence around COVID-19 emerges regularly. “I’ve never seen so many updates in this short span,” he notes. “So a part of our role has been supporting staff in adapting to the new evidence. And since COVID-19 is such a hot topic, unfortunately that comes with waves of misinformation. We’ve been working hard to combat that misinformation.”
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
COVID-19 also brought an increased global demand for (and sometimes shortages of) PPE and alcohol-based hand rub. Our community stepped up by donating cash and PPE to ensure that our frontline staff have protection when they need it most. “One of the most effective things we can do as a community is ensure that everyone has the PPE needed to keep patients, staff and their families safe,” Branden points out. “This benefits everyone.”
In October, Osler used 31,000 face shields and goggles, 110,000 procedure masks and 1,258,450 gloves. “During direct patient care, PPE is the only thing preventing a health care worker from being exposed to the virus while they’re caring for our loved ones,” Branden says. “Having appropriate PPE helps staff feel confident that they can provide care to patients with less risk to themselves and their families.”
Branden is grateful for the generosity of donors who provide funds to help make this possible. “Our health care workers at Osler are currently supporting one of the most impacted regions in the country. I encourage everyone, if they can, to donate to this cause. Let's work together to help keep our health care heroes safe.”
Eight months into a demanding new job, the busy father of a toddler stays motivated through the support of his family and colleagues. “The pandemic has been challenging and has increased the demand on our health care system and our health care workers. It is inspiring to see the work they do for families and patients, regardless of the challenges and obstacles they face daily.”
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