The COVID-19 outbreak hasn’t been easy, but our teams across Louisiana have pressed on with resilience.
No one expected a worldwide pandemic when 2020 began, but the past years have proven to be unique. “The rug was pulled out from under us,” says Carrie Templeton, vice president of women’s and children’s services at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital, “We had to quickly adapt and respond to stay on top of the situation.”
With guidance from leadership and disease control experts, teams across Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health implemented up-to-date policies to protect their vulnerable patient population.
Chad Cathey, senior director of children’s services and hospital operations at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, explains how it was important to adapt.
“Something we always say is ‘blessed are the flexible,’” Chad says. “Our flexibility was tested, but our team continues to do an amazing job. We’ve been able to maintain a healing environment for our kids.”
The safety guidelines and visitor policy made the hospitals the safest places to receive care but created a few challenges for patients who rely on a steady support system for healing.
“Our hospitals are patient-centered, and we haven’t been able to do everything we did before the pandemic,” Chad says. “Instead, we’re working hard to keep our kids engaged, including using our television network to provide virtual activities and donating tablets for our COVID-19 patients to communicate with their loved ones.”
Carrie reflects on important changes implemented during COVID-19, in which visitor policies have fluctuated based on surge levels.
“Prior to the outbreak, hospitals were a social gathering spot to celebrate childbirth,” Carrie says. “We’ve learned this isn’t ideal for a recovering mother or newborn, and our visitor policy has allowed for new moms to rest and focus on their new babies. We’ve also worked closely with our expecting mothers to make sure they get any necessary tests and pregnancy care if they test positive for COVID-19.”
While it was challenging to temporarily close our doors to volunteers and special visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were touched by the community’s ongoing support for us and our patients. Our community encouraged us with:
- Blood donations
- Coloring books
- Personal protective equipment for our providers
- Letters, signs, chalk drawings and painted rocks
- Food for our team members
- Fun costumes for our newborns
Staying Well: Kids’ Edition
- Keep up with your children’s immunizations as recommended by their pediatrician, including a COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5 and up.
- Coach your kids to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or to the tune of the entire “The Alphabet Song.”
- Have children ages 2 and older wear masks when around others outside your household.
- Watch for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, a serious condition that may occur after a COVID-19 diagnosis. Common signs are fever, tummy pain, vomiting and rash.
- Supervise your child while they are home. Preventable injuries for children are high.
Check out the ParentingU podcast at parentingu.ololchildrens.org for more parenting tips.