By Flynn Bush
It has been some time now since this publication did its Forgotten Heroes series. This series of articles were written to highlight specific groups of our community, though essential, who were often overlooked; or who did not get their due recognition. The time spent in this global pandemic has already started teaching us, as people, the importance of every single job and has given us a new definition of the term “essential.” We have begun to realize the value of people doing tasks that were previously thought of only as low wage, unskilled work. However, we have also realized that even the professions we held in high regard before did not receive enough credit. Today, we highlight one area that is finally starting to get its fair share of thanks and praise, the healthcare workers.
Now, when the term healthcare worker is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind usually is the group of nurses, doctors, and technicians who serve our community on a continual basis. In this coronavirus crisis, hopefully, we have started to realize the true depth of that sector of workers though. Throughout the world, the aforementioned workers, (nurses, doctors, etc.), have been receiving much love and admiration. In my opinion, that is a good start. However, so much more is needed. Ideally, when this pandemic is all over, we as a nation need to insist that we do not return to status quo with our thinking. We need to continue to hold in our minds and hearts those individuals who are on the frontline right now; those who are going to work to ensure the safety of us all. Can we imagine, for a moment, if none of these individuals were willing to take their place in the most vulnerable of situations.
Additionally, it behooves us to remember that it takes a lot of individuals in a lot of jobs to make a healthcare system operate. They might not be the jobs that readily come to mind, but the pharmacists, porters, janitorial staff, cooks, registration personnel, security, facility workers, and accounting/HR staff members are essential workers in every right. One nurse from the HSA, who asked to remain anonymous, had this to say, “I feel really appreciated right now, but although there are people who thank me for my service, there are a lot of other people working in the hospital who are deserving of thanks as well. The cleaners, porters and nursing aides are all working hard to do their part for this island. And don’t forget the pharmacists.”
As for pharmacists, the need for prescriptions and expert advice never ends. These professionals have been continuing to put their own safety at risk as well. Mr. Mark Campbell, pharmacist with CTMH, although humbled by the request for his quote had this to say, “It has been very challenging but, it has been so rewarding just knowing that I have been able to contribute and make a difference during this time.” These words should resonate with us as we move forward through, and out of, this pandemic.
The bottom line is that we are all in a new “norm” now and we are experiencing a world crisis the likes of which no one under the age of 110 years-old has ever experienced and can remember. Nevertheless, just as our forefathers weathered storms and made it through difficult times, we shall make it through this as well. The best thing that we can do is to ensure that when we emerge on the other side we do not go back to our old way of thinking. Do not let our healthcare workers, inclusive of all job titles, go back to being Forgotten Heroes.
The COVID 19 vaccines have arrived. Will you take the Vaccine?