Photo Gallery: Healthcare Heroes

Collage of Columbus Regional Hospital workers wearing masks


We asked Columbus Regional Health employees to reflect and discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their jobs and what the term "healthcare hero" means to them. These are their replies.

Jim Lowry

I am a lab carrier driver for CRH. We carry a lot of the COVID tests back and forth.

I think it's very important at this point, just our way of trying to give back and help a little bit. Right now, that's what it's all about.

Anybody and everybody who works for a hospital in some way or another is putting themselves out there to try and do the best they can and make this as easy as possible.

It just makes me happy I'm doing what I'm doing right now, because it makes me feel part of it, like I'm involved and I'm doing something for everybody else, which is what I like doing.

Debbie Geer

I think about the nurses that are on the front line and the doctors that are caring for those patients with the virus and dressing up in what they have to do to go in each room. To me that's a real hero.

I'm just proud to work with some of these people and what they do every day.

Syl Collins

I work in environmental services.

When I think about the term healthcare heroes, I think about everyone involved that works at the hospital, anywhere from nurses and doctors to us housekeepers that go into the rooms that have to gown up, get the steamers to clean the walls and the curtains.

I wasn't here during the flood, and I heard stories about that, and I've got coworkers that now can testify to the fact that they've lived and worked here long enough to witness two catastrophes, the flood and COVID-19.

I used to be someone that was not very happy with being a housekeeper. But because of this, I never realized how important people like me are.

I love my job now more than ever, the patients, the nurses. And it seems like now more than ever everyone's come together in unity.

Rin Weddle

I work in the emergency department registration area.

I'm wearing a face mask everywhere I go. I'm usually able to just talk to people face to face and smile and make them feel better, but with this mask on it's a little more in depth of trying to make patients feel comfortable when they come to the ER because they're already in dire straits when they get here.

In my job, it's never the same day twice. It's never boring. And I told one of the girls the other day, except for the flood in 2008 I've never been without work. Our company has taken such good care of its employees over the years. I wouldn't want to work anywhere else.

Hillary Blackburn

My ER doctors and my nurses are the best of the best. When you can see somebody coming in having a heart attack and loved ones sitting in the waiting room praying that they get to walk home with them, I know that my doctors and my nurses do the best that they can do, and usually the outcome is so good. It just makes you feel great to be a part of that team when you go home.

I think that it's a scary time to work, but I think over the past few weeks we've had great teamwork, and I work with awesome doctors and nurses and I know that we'll get through this.

Everybody that works here is a hero right now.

Leah Watson

I'm a charge nurse in the emergency department.

We come to work every day not knowing what we're going to see or what we're going to be exposed to, and we all come to work doing our job.

It's definitely scary - especially now. But in the emergency department, we never know what we're going to see on a day to day basis. It’s just kind of amped up a little bit, and we have a great team that's willing to jump and do whatever it takes, and we all work great together.

I wouldn't go anywhere else or work in another department.

Kathy Brock

I'm the director of quality, and I've been with Columbus Regional for 40 plus years.

When I think of healthcare hero, I think of all those individuals that puts others before themselves. So they're coming in here every day, putting their health, wellbeing above and taking care of others instead of thinking of themselves.

I'm very proud to work for this organization. It supports their employees, and we take the very best care of our patients and we put our patients first.

Kim Reeves

I'm an RN in endoscopy. It’s challenging but yet I'm happy to have a job, a place to come to, to be able to help people.

I've been here during the flood time also, when the hospital was closed. So there were lots of challenges then. But I was proud that this institution kept us all employed and found us something to do until we could come back to work and do what we were trained to do.

Danielle McLeod

I'm an OR surgical tech. I’m thankful I have a job and that we're able to be here and help people.

Jason Palmer

I'm an ER nurse. Been here 16 years. Been a nurse for 20.

For us, it's just another day. The hard part, I think, is wearing the mask and the PPE. It slows us down. But we're ready for everybody - we're here to serve.

The world around us is not moving, so it'll be nice when some normalcy gets back, that people get back to work. Because it's hard to see that, not just our workers, but their significant others and family and stuff.

I'm not (a hero). I'm just a nurse, I'm a nurse who loves taking care of patients. I enjoy what I do, 20 years later.

Dean Roth

I’m the manager of environmental services. I've been here 14 years.

We’re responsible for helping keep the infection down, making sure that we provide a safe environment so everybody else can be successful at what they do. Patients, doctors, nurses, whomever.

Well, certainly the front line people (are heroes), but I think anybody who's involved in healthcare, there's a lot of moving parts to a hospital. And certainly our doctors and nurses and especially the people that are going right in the rooms with them. We kind of get on the tail end of it, cleaning it up, but you’ve got the people who manage the facility as far as anything that breaks, you got the people that purchase stuff, you've got all the people who send out the bills. I mean all of us do have a key stake in this. And the part where it takes a village, it really does to operate a hospital, even in good times.

The fact that every day there's incident command that's pulled together to try to make sure we're at the forefront of what we're doing. And I think over the course of a couple months, we've learned a lot of things. And I don't think there's a person that walks in here that's not got some kind of anxiety. And some days it's just a little higher than other days. I think we have kind of settled into, we've kind of figured some things out and settled into, I don't know, the new norm, for the present time what normalcy is going to be in the future. I think all of us are going to just have to wait and see.

Joy Marshall

I'm a case manager. Our hours have changed. I was in the emergency department, and now I'm working on the floors as a case manager too. So that was a new role I needed to learn.

The patients are the real heroes to me. I really don't like to take credit for that, because that's just not something we usually do.

I've been a nurse for 30 years, and nothing like this has ever happened before. So it's uncharted territory.

Allyson Porter

I am a medical technologist in the lab.

In the current situation, I mean it's a little worrisome, more for the nurses and doctors, the people that have direct patient care, but it makes me proud to be part of a system that's doing so much.

Eliza Kennedy

I'm a physical therapist.

At first it was a little scary, nerve wracking, but lately we've just been doing what we need to do to help the patients the best that we can.

I'm happy that we have the PPE we need here so far to do our jobs. I mean without it, we wouldn't be here I guess.

I've definitely got respect for the nurses and the other people working with (the patients). I feel bad for the patients and the families.

Kris Lekens

Every day is something new. Nothing is ever the same every single day. There’s always something new, and I like that. It's interesting, it's good seeing people go from their worst time into their best time when they leave. And it's interesting seeing the family members interact.

Steve Low

I have always been interested in physiology, anatomy, that sort of thing, combined with computer sciences. And I work in MRI and that's just worked out perfectly because there's a mixture of both. I get to see things different every day. It's not the same old routine daily. I like to think that I'm making a difference. And I feel that I am when we discover new diseases and diagnosis or we're following treatments with other patients.

How does it affect my job? Well it certainly made the non-routine even less routine because everything changes daily. Some of the rules change daily, the patients, we've seen such a large decrease in non-emergent cases and that sort of thing that it's really cut back on our schedule, which affects what we do and how we work and all the real changes in the PPE and such. I think that all makes a difference. It gives us a chance when you're working in the job pool to meet other people in the company that you may not have met otherwise.

A healthcare hero means that you're willing to perhaps not risk your own health, but certainly put yourself out on the front lines and well-protected to make sure that everybody gets taken care of, or else who would take care of them? It's up to somebody. And I think when you see the results, when the results are positive, of course it makes you feel good.

Leave a comment