Director of Nursing
South Shore Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Freeport
Being a Director of Nursing during the COVID pandemic has truly been a challenge.
When COVID began, I worked in a 320-bed facility. We tried to adhere to the ever-changing Department of Health regulations while dealing with sick patients, sick staff, and lack of personal protective equipment. Thanks to the staff’s diligence, when I left that facility in June of 2020, it was COVID-free.
I came to South Shore in July of 2020. Since then, our facility has quickly brought two COVID outbreaks under control.
To this day, we continually monitor every person who comes into the facility. Almost 75% of our residents are completely vaccinated and we remain COVID-free.
The new mandate that all nursing home staff must be vaccinated is another challenge. Some employees have valid reasons for not wanting the vaccine, like those of child-bearing age who are concerned as to how the vaccine will affect the development of their child.
COVID has complicated nursing administration so much that sometimes, after a hard day, I’m physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. As this virus mutates and the regulations continuously change, I will do whatever I can to maintain a safe and healthy facility. But I can’t do it alone. The staff at South Shore has been – and continues to be – an important factor throughout this whole pandemic. The residents and their families have been very understanding and supportive of our efforts even when our measures seemed a bit extreme. We’ve all learned a lot, dealt with a lot and yes, even cried a lot . . . but at least we are better equipped and prepared for whatever the future holds.