‘It has really been about dedicated staff going over and above,’ says Patrick McCarthy
Asked how he would grade team members at OMNI Health Care’s 18 long-term care homes for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s president and CEO Patrick McCarthy doesn’t hesitate in his response.
“A-plus is considered the top mark, but we need to put another plus beside it” to truly recognize the contribution of staff members, McCarthy tells The OMNIway.
The global COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March by the World Health Organization. OMNI homes immediately put strict ministry protocols into effect, and OMNI’s pandemic plan was followed to the letter.
Knowledge of the virus, its transmission and impact has grown over time, and protocols, directives and guidelines have continuously evolved to reflect that knowledge.
The expanded availability of public health resources for testing and tracing has also had a significant effect on the ability to contain the spread.
While a major COVID-19 outbreak did occur in late March at one OMNI home, Almonte Country Haven, McCarthy says staff members at the home went above and beyond to care for residents in the face of the highly contagious virus.
“They were heroic in the contributions they made and their personal sacrifices; they showed tremendous passion and caring for their residents and each other,” he says.
Limited outbreaks among staff or residents have occurred at several other homes, and staff showed equal dedication and caring, McCarthy adds.
Aside from adhering to safety protocols and strong staff diligence, McCarthy says OMNI homes have also focused on communication with staff during the pandemic.
For example, daily team huddles for staff members to talk about issues and share information with each other on everything from residents’ well-being to the availability and use of personal protective equipment to the latest information about the COVID-19 virus has been vital.
But more than anything, McCarthy says OMNI staff members’ resident-centred approach to care and dedication to their work has been the big story during the pandemic.
“It has really been about dedicated staff going over and above,” he says. “They made sure the residents were cared for and were kept safe in a very difficult situation.”
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