On the COVID-19 Front Lines With the Environmental Services Team
"My Kids Feel Proud"
Rocio Bolanos de Magallon, a lead in the Cedars-Sinai Environmental Services Department, plays a critical role in patient care and safety by keeping patient rooms clean – work that now places her on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When she enters patient rooms, Bolanos de Magallon makes sure that patients feel comfortable and know that she's there.
"I always like to say, 'Hi, good morning, my name is Rocio and I'm here to clean up your room,' so at least if they are conscious, they will know who's in there and who's taking care of them, too," she said in a video diary.
Like many other healthcare workers, Bolanos de Magallon is finding that working so closely with very sick patients has sparked new concerns from friends and family. But in addition to the extensive precautions the hospital is taking to protect patients, staff and visitors, Bolanos de Magallon has added extra precautions in her daily routine, like changing her clothes and leaving her work shoes outside her home.
"My kids feel proud of what I do at the hospital," she said. "Sometimes they're also concerned, but I always talk to them and make them feel comfortable about it."
Ultimately, pride in her work is what keeps Bolanos de Magallon going.
"I just feel proud of it because I really care for others, not only for myself, so everything I do, I do it because I enjoy it," she said.
Small Kindnesses Make a Big Difference for Patients
Like Bolanos de Magallon, Environmental Services team member Rosa Molina has concerned children who are home from school. Molina said in her video diary that her 16-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son are worried about their mom, but that she reassures them.
"I already told them, 'Be thankful that I have a job and that we survive,'" she said.
Through her work, Molina sees firsthand that small kindnesses can make a big difference for even the sickest of patients and their families.
"Sometimes I go into the room and they're intubated, but they're awake. So they are aware of where they are," Molina said. "So, I say, 'good morning,' even though they cannot answer me, but sometimes they answer me with their eyes. Or with their hands – they're like, waving."
Molina said it's the strength and positive attitude of these patients that encourages her during these unprecedented times.
"It makes you like, come from your heart and say, hey, I gotta be thankful," she said. "I appreciate that I'm walking, I'm breathing."