Patrick Naughton shares his experience as a team lead for EVS — the team responsible for keeping every square inch of Geisinger clean.
In the 10 years since he graduated from high school, Patrick Naughton has worked at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, moving from the supply chain to the unit that sterilizes equipment to environmental services (EVS).
Today, as a team leader for EVS — the division responsible for keeping every square inch of Geisinger clean — Mr. Naughton considers the past decade preparation for the pandemic he and his colleagues are in the trenches battling, every shift.
“All the classes I’ve attended became very helpful in this situation,” he says. “This is like playing in the Super Bowl. All the training led us to this point, when you do the best you can to keep doing a great job.”
Mr. Naughton notes that he misses working in a busy hospital, now that visits are restricted and elective procedures are on hold.
“You get so used to daily interactions with visitors,” he says. “It’s really different to go through your work day without someone looking for assistance.”
Less traffic at the hospital hasn’t reduced Mr. Naughton’s workload. In fact, he’s working even harder, in some ways.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, the amount of trash we handled doubled,” he explains, noting that his team went from autoclaving (a process which uses steam at high pressure to sterilize medical equipment) three loads of biohazardous waste each day to disposing of six or seven loads per day.
Mr. Naughton adds, “I think everyone is a little scared. Nobody wants to contract this virus or bring it home to their families. But what I tell our staff is, use your proper personal protective equipment and precautions and do the great job that you always do. There’s no doubt we will end up on top.”