Long live heroes: Stories from the front lines
Physical therapy assistant Ellie Sikorskas embraces her new role working night shift in the COVID-19 screening tents: “People staying at home are doing their parts, too. And that’s important to remember.”
Night shifts are something Ellie Sikorskas never worked as a physical therapy assistant. But now, as a screener in Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital’s COVID-19 tents, they’re something she’s learned to get used to.
“The support of my fiancé, friends, family and coworkers makes all the difference,” she says. “There have been big changes at home and in the workplace, but everyone is working together right now to help each other out.”
Ms. Sikorskas says the tents are great for screening, with improvements being made all the time to make sure patients and staff are as comfortable as possible. “I’m really thankful to everyone who has taken on these new roles,” she says. “I’ve met some really great people that I wouldn’t have met in my normal job and the teamwork has been incredible.”
According to Ms. Sikorskas, it’s very important not to panic. “I treat every day the same,” she says. “I don’t worry about being around sick people, I engage with everyone equally — and I always make sure to follow protocols and take all the necessary precautions.”
When she’s not at work, Ms. Sikorskas continues to take precautions. She avoids going out (but stays 6 feet away from others when she does) and is constantly washing her hands and keeping surfaces clean. “It’s what I’d advise everyone to do,” she says. “We’re working hard to care for our community and keep everybody safe. People staying at home are doing their parts, too. And that’s important to remember.”