Healthcare workers adopting new routines to keep their families safe amid pandemic

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — Since the covid-19 pandemic began, health care workers have been picking up extra shifts to stop the spread of the virus and that’s having an impact on their home life.

Many are hopping right in the shower as soon as they step foot in their home.

I spoke with a Freeman Health System employee about his new routine.

Jeremy Jones, Freeman Health System ICU & Cardiology Director, BSN RN, said, “I try to stay out of the patient rooms because there’s other areas in the hospital that I have to go to and also check on other staff and other patients, but I do go back in the zone and check on them.”

Jeremy Jones is the director for the ICU and Cardiology Units at Freeman Health System.

He also has a family he comes home to every night.

As of Thursday night, Freeman Health System has two patients quarantined in their isolation unit where Jones works.

“I take my shoes off in the garage. I go into the laundry room, take my scrubs, everything I wore that day off, throw it in the washer, and then walk straight to the shower and take a shower before doing anything with my family.”

The Jones family is just one of many across the nation that have had to adapt to new ways of living due to covid-19.

For example, Jeremy’s now six year old daughter celebrated her birthday on March 24th.

They had a big party planned, but having vulnerable family members meant they had to celebrate a little differently.

“What they did is kind of almost like a little parade for her and would drive down the road, honk horns, have balloons, and stuff hanging out the window, and then drive up to our house and give her her gift, but everyone stayed in their car.”

Freeman Health System has a closed Facebook group for health care staff to share inspirational quotes and trade shifts.

And when the isolation unit was opened and volunteers were needed, more than 30 spanning across many wards signed up without hesitation.

“We posted on there and within a matter of 20 minutes, I mean we were overwhelmed with volunteers to work that unit and take care of those patients.”

Jeremy says his staff have the caregiver’s heart and he’s grateful for how much they’ve stepped up to help during this time.

He says his three children have really taken the change at home well.

If your family has been affected because of covid-19, try to answers as many questions as your kids have regarding this change.

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