Coronavirus screening has become a priority in health care throughout the community. For many, it determines whether they can work or even get out of the house. But the uncertainties of the system left a nurse isolated and unable to help others.
You can imagine the uncertainty while waiting for a COVID 19 test result… but how about waiting three in a row. This is what happened to Dorothy – a nurse at a primary care medical office in Syracuse after expressing her concerns to her boss.
“I am out of breath and I am fragile. What do you think I should do? I did not know at the time if I had been exposed but the probability was there. And she said, “Yes, you have to leave the office and go for a test.” ”
She was tested on a Friday and told medical professionals that the tests were rushed to help her return to work.
“… and they said,” No, it’s 4 or 5 days. “And Monday is coming and I got a phone call,” Calling to let you know that your specimen has leaked. We have to get you back and start over. »»
After a second test, Dorothy tries to find the results – without success, until she receives a call.
“A girl on the line says,” I’m calling to let you know that something happened in transit to your specimen. We need you to come and do another one. “This is the third time. I get something going on one; it happens. This is the third time. “
Health professionals recognize that treatment laboratories have been changed, they sometimes lacked pads and equipment for tests, but officials at Saint-Joseph Hospital say they, for their part, undergone no missing or contaminated test.
In one hospital, Saint Joseph’s, manager of infection control and prevention and nurse Pearl Lavalette, acknowledged some problems with the tests – sometimes having a shortage of swabs for the tests and the inability to obtain rapid results. But not Dorothy’s misadventures.
“We have not had this experience of lost or misplaced, or even contaminated tests, for that matter, because of the way they are collected,” said Lavalette. “We had a great process to continue testing our patients without problems.”
The third result of Dorothy’s test finally returned – negative – 11 days after worrying about the symptoms.
“I am not symptomatic at this stage. I was Thursday but I am not now (at the time). I am a nurse. I want to go back to work. I want to take care of my patients. I want to be in the game; I don’t want to be left out. ”
She is happy to be back at work now, but has left questions about the uncertainties in the COVID testing system … which will be essential to responding to the virus in the future.