COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Visits to the hospital may be a little nerve-wracking for some during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the guest services staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical - College Station are trying to ease concerns and make the facilities as safe as possible.
“We actually get to be the friend as people walk through the door," said Valerie Russell, the guest services manager at Baylor Scott & White Medical - College Station.
They’re one of the first people guests see as they enter the hospital doors. Although people can’t see the big smiles on their faces anymore because of the masks they’re wearing, the guest service desk is still more than happy to lend a helping hand.
"Anyone that comes in if it is very cold in the hospital, we get them a warm blanket," Russell said. "Maybe we will get them some water if they need it. We make sure they get their ride and it actually picks them up.”
Since March, guest service staff have had to change the way staff and volunteers operate due to COVID-19. They taking extra steps to create a safer environment for everyone by checking temperatures, enforcing people to wear masks and more.
“It’s been difficult to try to make sure everyone understands we are the friend at the door, but we’re also going to stand guard and protect anyone and everyone who comes into a facility," Russell said.
Working on the front lines at a hospital during the pandemic, the guest services staff knows what risks may be involved. They still want to come to work every day because they know they are making a difference for patients and family members.
“There are times when there is someone that has passed and you know that they were alone when COVID-19 started, those team members stepped up and held the hands of people that were passing," Russell said. "That just brings tears to my eyes because that just shows the compassion these people have. They are donning and suiting up to be there for those last moments.”