I spoke to a New York phlebotomist about COVID-19, and WOW, it's not easy. I don't know how she does it.
What is your healthcare profession? For how long?
I've been a phlebotomist for one and a half years.
What is your hospital's procedure in regard to COVID-19 patient care?
We have to wear masks, and only 10 people are allowed in the waiting room at a time. We practice social distancing and always wear a lab coat.
What is the protocol if you (or another staff) show signs of infection?
We must notify a superior and call out or stay home.
What is the biggest change your day-to-day has faced because of COVID-19?
The masks and social distancing, mostly.
Describe your hospital's atmosphere.
Lord, many people coming in and out. Sanitizing the chair everyone sits in. Throwing out every tourniquet used on every patient.
How do you feel about your state's re-opening strategy? Do you think it's safe?
I think they're really taking the protocols seriously in most stores. Some stores still allow fitting rooms to be used when you're trying clothes on, which doesn't make sense but for the most part, even gas stations are sanitizing.
What is the biggest mistake you see people making in regard to COVID-19?
The masks are not worn properly and people with gloves are not being protected as they should.
What advice can you give us for staying as healthy as possible?
Staying as far away as you can from people, even if you're having a conversation. Always wash your hands and take your vitamins.
What can citizens in your area do to help healthcare workers fight COVID-19?
Stay home and only come out for absolutely necessary shopping. Trying to maintain a healthy and sanitary lifestyle and being cooperative with is healthcare workers in this time of crisis.