Linking patients and loved ones in the midst of COVID-19
Osler has facilitated more than 6,300 virtual visits since COVID-19 began. It’s made possible with the help of caring staff members like Pushpa Mistry and Evelyn Jara, who support this critical link between patients and their loved ones.
Redeployed from the Medical Device Reprocessing Department, the two MDR technicians have tackled the challenges of their new roles with enthusiasm. “It’s been hard to adjust when it’s come to people like us that work on a schedule,” says Evelyn. “But it’s been good because it’s allowed us to be able to just take it day by day and learn every day from everything that’s happening, not just here, around the world.”
Osler’s limited visitor policy was created for the protection of the hospital community, to help prevent the spread of COVID. At the same time, staff and physicians work to maintain a compassionate healing environment where patient needs are prioritized. Virtual Visitation allows patients to interact with family members safely, providing beneficial encouragement.
“We’ve had some good feedback from family who have enjoyed their time with their loved ones,” says Pushpa. “We usually Zoom for half an hour and it brings joy to the people.”
Inevitably the role requires helping patients and family members through difficult times. “Unfortunately we’ve had some people who passed away on the Zoom,” Pushpa says.
Adds Evelyn, “It’s been hard at times but there’s been great experiences as well, and one of the hardest would definitely be seeing somebody pass away, and having to share that with their loved one is really difficult, but at the same time we’re grateful that we’re given the opportunity to take this service to their loved ones to the very end.”
Going floor to floor as they facilitate Virtual Visitation, the two are grateful for the opportunity to interact with others. “I’ve met some interesting people - managers, nurses and supervisors - and this is a good thing for the hospital,” says Pushpa. “It brings the community together.”
A staff member at Osler for 13 years, Evelyn is also happy for the opportunity to learn new skills and interact with different departments. “We’re really grateful,” she says. “We’re thankful for this opportunity and we are glad to be part of this community.”
Currently no inpatient visitors are permitted at Osler hospitals, with a few exceptions. Authorized visitors must meet screening requirements before entering the hospital. Please visit www.williamoslerhs.ca for current visitor information.
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