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Redeployed Nurses Serve as Vital Employee Resource During COVID-19

In an effort to more quickly respond to employee questions about potential coronavirus exposures both inside and outside of the hospital, Penn State Health St. Joseph has redeployed a team of nurses to assist Employee Health.

“The Employee Health staff does the initial intake and shares information about the potential exposure with the nurses,” explains Cheryl Crozier, director of Quality and Performance Excellence. “Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent guidelines, the nurses review each scenario for potential exposure and determine what we need to do to keep that employee, staff, patients and others safe.”

While many of the situations will lead to clear decisions, such as to self-monitor or quarantine, others are not as simple. In those cases, the nurses will contact the employees directly for further information.

“We are reaching out, if we don’t have the most complete information, so we can make the best decision for that employee,” Crozier says. “We also are consulting every day with Mari Driscoll, as our subject matter expert and infection control nurse, for anything we can’t clearly direct.”

Taking the nurses’ recommendations, Employee Health will provide each employee with written direction and contact information for the nurses, should they have additional questions.

Employees may have more than one scenario for potential exposure, according to Crozier.

“The coronavirus is such a moving target, employees should feel free to reach out if a different scenario comes up,” she says. “The nurses are a resource for them. They will stay up on the guidance as it changes and continue to answer questions.”

Any St. Joseph employee who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 inside or outside of work, even if they do not have any symptoms, should immediately contact Employee Health.

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