Apr 23, 2021

This season, we're recognizing the local healthcare workers and first responders on the frontlines against the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a new season-long segment called Honoring the Frontline, presented by Honda.

This week, we honor the Hygiene Team and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

When COVID-19 hospitalizations started accelerating in Monroe county last November, space became a premium for treating ICU patients at URMC. Units across the hospital had to be repurposed as the virus surged throughout the community.

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) teams at Golisano Children’s Hospital were ready to answer this challenge. A low census at GCH – due to decreased volumes of patients with seasonal respiratory illnesses – meant that space was available for adults. In late December, caregivers started a rapid transition to treating adult patients who had recovered from COVID, but still needed ICU care.

As part of their care regime, PICU nurses provided regular bed baths and other services for adult covid patients. Due to the generally low census across units in GCH, nurses from several departments were willing and able to help, leading to the creation of mobile, volunteer “hygiene” units. Every day, a team of 3-4 nurses would attend to the adult COVID patients.

This service helped free up time for PICU nurses to perform other essential work, such as medication administration, assessment and documentation, and general patient care across the units. Participating on the hygiene teams also helped boost overall morale for GCH nurses during the winter COVID surge.

As the recent covid surge at URMC shows signs of slowing, the PICUs are treating their remaining adult patients and will soon transition back to full pediatric care. The creation of the hygiene teams, however, has provided PICU nurses with a model for comprehensively serving adult patients that will be critical in the event of another COVID surge.

The Rochester Americans and upstate Honda dealers thank the mobile hygiene team and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital as well as all other first responders and frontline workers for their service.

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