Kathy Price is a certified paramedic with
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville.
Having been in emergency medical services for more than 30 years — over 25 as a paramedic — I have worked through many public health emergencies but have never experienced anything like the COVID-19 pandemic before.
During a pandemic, besides providing emergency care to patients, it is also important that we try to identify potentially infectious patients before they arrive at the emergency rooms to limit exposure to non-infected patients and employees.
As emergency medical first responders, mobile intensive care paramedics, mobile intensive care nurses and emergency medical technicians are used to managing all types of emergency situations. Paramedics work as an extension of the emergency room and provide pre-hospital advanced life support care, including IV therapy, airway management and cardiac monitoring, while emergency medical technicians provide basic life support care, including oxygen therapy, first aid and transportation.
During this crisis, we’ve had to adjust practically all our standard operating procedures from dispatch to patient drop-off. Everything is different now. We are trying to provide the same high quality of care but are having to learn different ways to achieve this standard while limiting the spread of this invisible virus.
We are thankful for our communities that continue to support us through this challenging time. I and my fellow paramedics also have great admiration for the many courageous, professional EMTs — both career and volunteer — that we have the privilege of working with every day. They are our heroes!
originally posted on Bridgewater Courier News