This Mother's Day, we're putting the focus on the heroic moms who are fighting on the front lines of COVID-19. Here at Clayton & Crume, we've shifted gears to help protect frontline workers by producing over a half-million medical face shields.
In response to our new project, we've heard from medical professionals all across the country who are in desperate need of PPE, many who are also mothers. We couldn't help but think about all the moms out there fighting on the front lines of this virus, putting their lives at risk every day for the health and safety of others, while continuing to care for their family at home. So, we decided to donate hundreds of face shields to these incredible women and their medical facilities. We had the chance to hear some of their stories and what it means for them to be a working mom during this crisis.
Ashley Britt, RN
Ashley described what it's been like at work during this time: "At work all employees wear masks and glasses all day (12 hour shifts). In the ER we do not get the luxury of knowing who does or does not have the virus so protecting ourselves versus rationing out our PPE (gowns, masks, and gloves) is a constant struggle. The majority of patients coming in with COVID-19 symptoms are very sick and need fast treatment. When caring for these patients it’s stressful, tedious, time consuming and hot (lots of protective gear while trying to do seven things at once)."
She is thrilled that healthcare workers are receiving the recognition that they deserve, "For the first time doctors, nurses, and medical staff are more praised than any movie star or famous person. Our department has received countless meals and messages of encouragement from numerous churches and businesses."
Ashley does worry about the safety of her family as she continues to work on the front lines. She says "I'm an ER nurse through and through. I have been for almost 10 years, which means I have seen a lot and very little gets me bent out of shape. This is very different because it is a very real threat to the ones I love..."
Kara Becker, RN
"It means a lot to be on the front lines. As scary as it can be, there's no where else I'd rather be during this pandemic. Taking care of people is my job, and that's what I love to do, especially taking care of them with my work family."
Kara has a beautiful 3-year-old daughter, and she's also expecting her second! She says, "I wouldn't say I'm fearful, but being pregnancy during this has been difficult. It's a fine line of unconsciously jumping right in when a patient critically needs you, but having to keep an extra distance to keep both me and the baby safe. At times, I've felt like this pregnancy has held me back from doing what I love to do, as there are certain things I cannot participate in during patient care. But I do as much as I can safely. Growing my daughter is my number one priority."
Cole, Kara's husband, spoke of how proud he is of his wife —how she's taken everything head on. She knows how much her patients need her and how much her family needs her during this time. "I would say my wife is a superhero because she battles on the front lines at work during this pandemic, and then she comes home and takes care of our family like nothing has changed."
Our Annual Mother's Day Sale is here!
Brittany Bryant, Medical Assistant
"I have mixed emotions about being on the front lines of COVID-19. I absolutely love my job and the individuals I get the opportunity to work with everyday, but it is frightening to potentially be exposed to a virus we know so little about. It brings me joy to continue to help children and their families, and I know what I continue to do everyday is appreciated."
Brittany says, "I've seen so much good come from such a terrible virus. Our communities as a whole are coming together and supporting those who are struggling to support themselves. This whole situation has reminded people that we're all in this together. "
Brittany's 13-year-old daughter, McKenzie is incredibly proud of her mom and how she is "giving it all" at work and home. "My mom is most definitely a super hero in my eyes and so much more. She's the most selfless person I know. She's always worried about everyone but herself, Even people she doesn't know. She's always there for me, no matter what she has going on. All my friends consider her like a 2nd mom to them. Everyone loves her, and I'm SO proud of her."
Katie Albright, RN
We asked Katie what it means to her, fighting on the front lines of COVID-19. "As a NICU nurse, I certainly don't feel like I am on the front lines. So many nurses have been working in the trenches way more than I have. RTs, ER, ICU, housekeeping staff...these people have my utmost respect.
Though, I can tell you, taking care of patients suspected of COVID-19 makes you appreciate your role as a nurse. You give your blood, sweat, and tears to patients and their families. When you take care of these patients, you are supposed to limit exposure. For a nurse, it is hard to limit yourself —your care and your time. Nurses are not good at limiting anything; we want to fix everything, and we certainly don't want to miss anything. Period. It's hard when you have to consider your safety and the safety of your family, as well. It's a lot to think about."
Beckham, Katie's son, told us that his mom is a superhero. And that she "fights that stinkin' virus!"
Katie's husband, Bruce says that he's "a little uneasy when she goes to work, especially during these times with possible exposure to the virus every time she goes into the hospital.
I am very proud of my wife as she continues to put our family and others first in her work during such a difficult time to be in healthcare. I continue to be amazed by her every day."
Mary Catherine Oechslin, RN
Mary Catherine describes the scene at the Pediatric Group she works at: "When we have a kiddo who has symptoms or an exposure, we have a specific 'COVID room' we use. I put on my gown, N95 mask, face shield, and gloves. We meet the family outside and then go into our room. I do my normal history and exam; we do a lot of testing including the COVID swab. I exit to the outside and take off all my PPE and get the specimens to the lab. The family leaves, and we converse about testing outcomes on the phone to limit exposure times. It's a really different routine that I'm not used to. But we've been doing it for a few weeks, so it's become more fluid and we have all adapted."
Despite the fear and the unknowns, Mary Catherine has seen some good come out of this situation. "I think one of the most endearing things that I have seen come from this is the solidarity of not only our state and country, but of the entire world. We're all in this together, and I've enjoyed seeing everyone support each other and be kind. I've also never been more proud to be a Nurse Practitioner. I've been very humbled by all the support I've received from family, friends, and even strangers. I hope the solidarity and support of one another sticks after this virus is long gone."
Mary Catherine's own mother commented about how proud she is of her daughter and the work she is doing: "Mary Catherine is doing her job, but she does it with passion. She shows up and gives it her all. I know I could not do her job! Every day is risky, but she and all her office staff keep doing what they have been trained to do. That gives me a tremendous amount of pride, not only in Mary Catherine, but also in the profession she decided to pursue."
Shelby Pollert, RN
Even in the midst of the chaos, Shelby says that she has seen some good come out of this situation. "In my own department, I have seen the impact this has had on our team. It's created a tighter bond with our staff and a better team atmosphere, which is crucial in a time like this. In addition, it's developed a lot of nurses. Nurses who may not have as much experience in settings have stepped up to prepare for this and are becoming better nurses. I think that shows such a great impact on the healthcare system we have in Kentuckiana."
Her husband, Noah, also continues working during this time as a police officer in Floyd County, IN (thanks Noah!). He sees his wife as a superhero and much more.
"I see a selfless, caring, dedicated medical professional. I see a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, scholar, nurse, and much more. I see her continue her studies for her Master's degree, cook dinner, keep the house clean, be a mom, be a wife, and everything in between during this pandemic."
Thank you to frontline heroes —Ashley Britt, Kara Becker, Brittany Bryant, Katie Albright, Mary Catherine Oechslin, & Shelby Pollert! The entire team at Clayton & Crume is forever grateful for how you are helping our community during this time.
Our Annual Mother's Day Sale is here!