Created: January 07, 2021 06:50 PM
(ABC 6 News)-- The housekeepers in the hospital are speaking out about their experience during the pandemic, and some of them say they feel like heroes too.
Although the hospitality staff does not work directly with patients all the time, two housekeepers, one from Minnesota and another from Iowa both sat down to discuss how their lives have changed because of COVID-19.
"It's great to hear that all of us together are working together to make it work and to make the patients healthy," said Elissa Marty.
Marty has been a part of the Mayo Clinic hospitality staff for 15-years. She said she originally applied for the job because her grandmother worked for Mayo and she enjoyed the thought of getting to meet new people.
One of the major differences she said she's experienced since the virus began spreading in Minnesota, is the way the staff treats rooms after each patient leaves.
"When it's a COVID room, we have to take everything out of that room. We strip everything down. We change the cubical curtains, we change shower curtains if they're there. We throw away all hospital supplies. We strip it down to almost nothing," she said.
In Mason City, Iowa, Kyra Nobbs has been working in hospitality for six months. She said she joined the team just a few months after everything started to unfold in March. Nobbs said she knew what she was getting into when she got the job, but it's still been quite an adjustment.
"Mostly right now I'm doing COVID rooms for several hours, and just focusing on getting those sterilized for the next person," said Nobbs.
She added that it can take anywhere from an hour to two hours to clean a room.
When Nobbs was asked how she prevents exposure to COVID-19 in the hospital, she said aside from wearing her mask and washing her hands she avoids bringing the germs home altogether, or she keeps them away from others in her household.
"I leave my shoes at work in the locker room and I bring my change of shoes. As soon as I get home I shower and I put my scrubs away from everyone," she said.
We recognize the heroes as the men and women who treat patients every day. We acknowledge the hard work and they put in. Marty and Nobbs both say, they feel that same sense of pride heroism every day.
"I feel important anyway because I know I'm making a difference in patients' stay," said Nobbs.
MercyOne officials said the hospitality staff will begin vaccinations in the next few weeks, and Mayo Clinic said its staff has already started the process.
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