DHS seniors continue to work in healthcare throughout COVID-19

Seniors+Sydney+Ames+and+Sierra+Grube+pose+for+a+picture+during+their+shift+at+Hillside+Village+on+April+26.

Seniors Sydney Ames and Sierra Grube pose for a picture during their shift at Hillside Village on April 26.

Lynlee Hutchison, News Editor

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact the daily lives of many, some De Soto High School students have had the opportunity to continue working in a healthcare environment. 

Local nursing home, Hillside Village of De Soto, has taken extra precautions to ensure the safety of its residents. 

“Visitors haven’t been allowed inside the building for about seven weeks. Some family members stand outside the windows and speak to residents over the phone,” senior and employee Sydney Ames said. 

Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Ames acknowledges how the facility has focused on finding ways to continue daily activities for residents to participate in while also following social distancing guidelines at all times. 

“Activity directors have reinstated a socially distanced version of bingo, we have had dancing and music, and on nice days we are able to take the residents outside for some much needed vitamin D,” Ames said.

Co-worker of Ames and DHS senior Sierra Grube ensures she does all she can to keep the residents’ spirits up. 

 “Any down time I have I make sure to go into rooms and talk with residents because this is a scary time for them and I want them to know I am here,” Grube said. 

With no current cases of COVID-19 within Hillside Village, it is important for staff members to practice social distancing even outside the workplace. 

“If the virus comes into our facility, it will have come through a staff member. I think this puts additional pressure on staff to follow strict guidelines for health and safety,” Ames said 

To avoid bringing COVID-19 into the facility, staff members are having their temperatures taken twice a day, as running a fever is a common symptom of the new virus. 

Not only are CNAs dealing with new protocol, but those who work in the dietary sections of nursing homes. Senior Mason Parrish has seen changes in his daily routine at another local nursing home, Lakeview Village.

“Aside from not being able to directly interact with one another, the residents are unable to select what they eat for each meal,” Parrish said.

During a time of unknown, these students are just happy to put forward what they can.

  “I love my job and knowing that I am essential to their lives during this hard time in the world means a lot,” Grube said. “I know that when I look back on this time I will be proud I helped those in need.” 

Those working in healthcare also feel it is important to make sure those within the community know the importances of flattening the curve of the virus. 

“As important as my role as a healthcare worker may be right now, everyone has an important role to play,” Ames said.