Submitted by: Erica Mack, BHSc SRT, Fanshawe College

During the beginning days of the pandemic, I was deployed to work at London’s Covid-19 Assessment Center.

The experience was unparalleled. Many practitioners from various professions and in varying stages of their careers came together to assist the community. The group of devoted individuals worked day after day and always remained in great spirits.

The site was a true definition of a fluid learning environment and proof of what teamwork can accomplish. What has moved me the most during this is experience is seeing first-hand how much each and every individual pours their heart and soul into their job each and every day to ensure the safety of the community. These individuals played various roles throughout their shift, including providing a reassuring voice – something many need during this uncertain time. The importance of compassion in healthcare and the lengths it can go was demonstrated, proving that we are strongest together, as a team, and that no role is too small.  Interesting insights into the past and future of healthcare were shared, and these sparked a flame of excitement for a future experiencing all of the things my classmates and I will accomplish down the road.

While I was at the Assessment Center, I was involved in drive-thru assessment, where members of the public drove up to a group of healthcare professionals who then performed a quick assessment to determine whether or not the individual needed to be sent inside for further assessment. The team offered education on how to keep self and others safe through properly self-monitoring, self-isolating, and caring for family members during this difficult time. This group of dedicated individuals braved all the wild weather that came along with a Canadian spring. I learned many valuable lessons during my brief period alongside these spectacular individuals, and I can only hope to follow in their footsteps.  They meet the true definition of superheroes!

Since returning to my hospital job, the exposure has become even more diverse. I have been able to experience the role the practitioners are playing in critical care settings compared to the role they are playing in the community. I have learned and will continue to learn more with each and every shift, and hope I can translate these lessons both into my learning and future practice.

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