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In the Middle of It All

In the Middle of It All

Beth Goodall is a registered nurse and spent part of her career providing direct patient care. Eventually, however, her talents and interests led her to become DCH’s epidemiology director.

Epidemiology is defined by Merriam-Webster as the branch of medicine dealing with “the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population.” For everyone at DCH, Goodall, Dr. Albert White and their team represent so much more. Right now, in the dramatic upheaval caused by COVID-19, the Epidemiology team has been the calm voice in the storm and the decipherers of ever-changing recommendations. They are the team that seems to be everywhere answering questions, helping resolve issues and working to make the safest possible environment for employees and patients.

Today is the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale and the final day of National Nurses Week 2020. Nightingale is often referred to as the founder of modern nursing and, like Goodall, spent much of her career developing cleaner, safer conditions for the delivery of care.

In recognition of Nightingale and nurses everywhere, here are a few thoughts from Goodall on what she has seen and experienced during the past few months.

“It has certainly been a unique time in my nursing career!” said Goodall. “Not one that I would have ever anticipated as a possible reality, but perhaps one to prepare for in theory. If anyone would have ever presented a scenario where health care leaders would [be figuring out] how to make face masks, how to quickly convert ordinary patient rooms and [even] entire units into critical care areas with protective airflow, how to safely reuse PPE for days, how to pitch tents in a parking lot to extend services beyond our walls, I would be sure it was only a dream.

“I would have called it a nightmare had I not lived the reality of seeing so many people come together for the greater good of others, pushing themselves to the limit, and beyond, of their knowledge and talents. I will never forget saying early on, ‘I think if I asked for the moon, someone would help me lasso it!’

“I really get emotional thinking about all of the people who have helped me, DCH, and our patients. I am humbled to be included in the celebration of Nurses Week, as we live through this difficult time of COVID-19. I could not be more proud to be even a small part of the health care team at DCH.”

To all the nurses out there, we sincerely thank you for providing the competence and compassion that are so needed at this time. Happy Nurses Week!