From the training room to the frontlines
With schools moving to online learning across the country and spring sports brought to an abrupt end, Peter Gray, athletic trainer with UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine and Henry Clay High School, found himself in a new role as a COVID-19 screener at our hospital entrances.
And while he’s looking forward to getting back on the field and providing the same level of expert care to his athletes that UK athletes get from our other orthopaedic experts, he’s embraced his new, temporary role, and shared what it’s been like helping to ensure the health and safety of our patients and staff.
What’s your “normal” role with UK HealthCare?
As an outreach athletic trainer with UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, a “normal” day usually consists of some time in the Turfland clinic, working morning clinic with one of our sports medicine providers. After that, my usual afternoons are spent at Henry Clay High School, where I manage and provide sports medicine and athletic training coverage for all of their athletes and sports teams.
This time of year, I’m used to spending my nights covering double header baseball games, softball games and track meets as well as training room hours for the rest of my athletes and their injuries.
How has your role changed?
With schools closed and sports on pause, I have taken on a new redeployment role as an entrance screener at UK HealthCare hospitals. As a screener, I’m part of the COVID-19 response team – an important initiative to keep patients and employees safe.
My primary responsibility as a screener is to ask all visitors and employees questions about any possible COVID-19 exposure before they can enter the hospital.
I’ve been working with a vast array of techs and nurses, and it’s been a great experience – I’ve gotten to know many other UK HealthCare employees who I would have never met, and we’ve come together to collaborate and step up in a major way to help ensure the safety of patients and staff.
What has the experience as a COVID-19 screener been like?
Every entrance to a UK HealthCare facility is covered by a screener or team of screeners, and each station is well-stocked with our materials, like masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes or spray, hand sanitizer and any documents we need.
Our COVID-19 response managers are really prepared for anything – they’ve helped troubleshoot any questions or problems that may have arisen.
I feel very safe going to work and being in the hospital. UK HealthCare staff continues to model the new policies and provide the proper equipment and direction for everyone that sets foot in the hospital. The support staff have done a great job keeping the hospital environment clean and safe so that people can attend important appointments without worrying.
I’ve been really inspired by the comradery and collaboration among so many different UK HealthCare employees. It’s not easy to change positions and start something new with new people in a new part of the hospital, but it’s been really encouraging to see our UK team come together.