Holly Wisemen (St. Charles 1987) is the Director of Environmental Services for a retirement community in Chesterfield, Missouri. She is responsible for the cleanliness of the facilities and anything environmental. She manages a team of 26 people between two campuses, with 148 independent apartments and 138 apartments in the nursing home. Holly was kind enough to share her perspective of working in a healthcare institution during this pandemic:
There has been a tremendous change in our day-to-day jobs. We have had to separate to different parts of the building and must try to keep traffic down between units. I am not allowed to go to the other buildings and my staff there cannot come to my office—I have had to manage my team by phone and text. It has put a lot of responsibility on the staff to do things on their own.
The general fear from news stories about nursing homes has been hard for everyone. Because I am not able to be face-to-face with my employees, it has been difficult to assure them we are okay. I’ve been with some of the staff for nine years and they trust me. Not being with them in person has been an added stressor.
Additionally, we have a lot of vulnerable people here and it’s very stressful to hope every day that we are doing enough to keep the virus out. We wear masks and take the staff’s temperatures twice a day. We use different entrances and break spaces. These necessary changes have been a difficult adjustment for everyone.
Finally, I don’t get to see the residents like I used to. I miss seeing them and talking to them. I am very proud of the team of people that I work with and their amazing dedication to keeping our residents safe.