Published on October 15, 2020

Expanding Critical Knowledge and Roles During COVID-19

Environmental Services Specialist

Environmental Services Staff Member

As a Concord Hospital floor care technician, Shawn Salyer knows the COVID-19 pandemic makes it more important than ever to keep corridors, treatment areas and patient rooms clean and sanitary.

As the Hospital prepared for COVID-19 patients, staff, including Salyer and his Environmental Services Department colleagues, had to learn about the virus and how to protect themselves and patients. His role expanded to include helping deliver items such as isolation gowns, masks and hand sanitizer around the Hospital.

“You get a hundred calls during the day from all sorts of departments needing materials or supplies,” he said. Reusable N95 masks also were being collected twice a day to be disinfected.

And, he’s answering questions about cleaning procedures and products from healthcare providers around the Hospital that he never crossed paths with before COVID-19.

Hospital administration has gone above and beyond, he said, to make sure everyone has the information and the equipment they need to stay safe — and the caring attention to speak with supervisors freely, if needed, to help cope with the anxiety of facing the pandemic from the front lines.

The crisis, he said, has helped unite everyone working in the Hospital.

“The camaraderie has just skyrocketed,” Salyer said. “I’ve never been so proud to be part of a department in such an establishment with such great people.”

Environmental Services staff joined everyone at the Hospital to be flexible, brave and resilient in the face of new challenges, including cleaning and disinfecting rooms to help keep everyone safe.

“I saw a tremendous turnaround in their courage to be able to say ‘Even though I am scared, I’m going to do what it takes to gown up and go into that room and take care of what needs to be taken care of,’” he said.

Salyer sees his role as important in helping keep his colleagues and the community healthy and safe.

“The virus is an invisible enemy and some of the best tools we have to fight it are the products and the materials we use in Environmental Services to make sure the Hospital is at its utmost sanitary state,” he said.