KENT COUNTY, Mich. — Over the past few weeks a lot of attention has been on healthcare workers on the front lines, but the cleaning services at area healthcare facilities also deserve some recognition.
Richard Sweedyk, manager of Environmental Services (EVS) for Mercy Health Saint Mary's, told FOX 17 his crews have adapted well to the situation, working around the clock to thoroughly clean and sanitize buildings.
EVS workers also don personal protective equipment, or PPE, putting themselves at risk during the pandemic. They clean the rooms of non-COVID patients, and COVID patients once they're discharged from the hospital.
They are trained to treat areas as if every person has the virus.
“Our staff is very well trained, I can’t say that we’ve always prepared for this, but the processes that we already had in place, the things that these folks have been doing since day one when they walked in here, is exactly what we need to keep doing. And what they’ve been doing has been great,” said Sweedyk. “The processes we follow have always been along the CDC guidelines and we’ll continue to do that. Our staff has been willing to ask questions, what’s going on, how can we do things better for the rest of the colleagues here, the patients that we see in here. So in a lot of ways we haven’t had to change a whole lot, but boy, attention to detail has been amazing by this staff.”
He credits the Mercy Health team for working together to get through this crisis.
“Here at Mercy Health we have a great group of doctors, the nurses. The nurses have been helping us out actually by doing some things we would have normally done in a patient room, and they’re doing them for us. Part of it in order to cut back on the amount of PPE that we use, but those folks are amazing on the front line and part of our job is to do whatever we can to support them.”
Sweedyk said while they appreciate the food deliveries, thank you cards and signs posted outside the hospital; the absolute best way to thank them is to stay home, and stay safe.