A simple exchange

Makayla Huffman behind the mask

Makayla was feeling quite overwhelmed and anxious when the pandemic began. She was aware the pulmonary function clinic was going to be closed temporarily, and that she was going to be sent to work in another area, but she didn’t know where. “Our team became closer as we were all going through something equally as stressful. The amount of support I received from my coworkers and leaders was really comforting.” Makayla was redeployed to Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and trained in anticipation of getting a surge of patients during the first few months of the pandemic. 

Throughout the pandemic the pulmonary function team worked vigilantly to create a plan that would make reopening the lab safe for patients and staff. Makayla found herself really missing the patient interaction. “I feel like this was amplified for me as I wanted to be on the front lines, facing COVID19 head-on, and being there for the patients who needed help.”

A few weeks after reopening the clinic Makayla had a lovely experience with a patient. “A gentleman had come in for a pulmonary function test. I could tell he was nervous as he carefully removed his mask for the test. This patient has been to our clinic many times and at the end of his test, he simply said, thank you so much for being here for us, that really stuck.”

Patients with chronic respiratory issues are more at risk during the pandemic, and it takes a lot of courage for them to step out into the world. The simple exchange overwhelmed Makayla with emotion. “I realized just how important the work we do is, and how all of our planning, meetings, and research was worth it to make our patients feel comfortable.”

Noticing that this patient-first focus is all over the organization, Makayla is so happy to work at St. Joseph’s. “The amount of teamwork that I’ve seen since COVID-19 hit has been incredible. I feel so blessed to work in an organization where everyone can pull together, roll with the punches, and lift each other up in such a difficult time. Everything that everyone has done has been worth it.”

Makayla feels very grateful for her colleagues. “The positive attitudes, laughs, and smiles behind the masks has made me so thankful for all the wonderful people I see here at work every day. I look forward to the days when we can look back on all of this and be proud of what we went through together.”

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