Suraiya Jahan, MD, CIC

Location: Fresh Meadows, NY

Title: Associate Director

Company/Organization: Lincoln Medical Center

First Certified: June 2016

I am grateful to have this opportunity to express my experience during COVID pandemic,

When China had cases of Corona virus at that time our Infection control department called

For an Emergency Preparedness meeting in collaboration with ED, Safety and IC team mid-December. The experience of that meeting was less attendance, however we were able to identify our lacking of Staff, accommodations for patient, negative pressure room, all of above we were not ready.

As the time progresses, during JAN, FEB until March we were proceeding as Central office IC was giving us guideline.

PPE guidelines were our number one challenge. Suddenly we found our PPE stations were empty, Hand sanitizer stations were out of sanitizers. We are educating staff about don and doffing, but the guidelines were changing so rapidly we notice conflict between IP and staff.

My feelings were frustration that we are not providing the correct PPE due to shortage of PPE, RN, PCA and Unit staffs showing their anger of not having enough protection. Staff were getting sick with COVID, less supplies, more patients, and people dying. This was a horrible moment

 Our department call for a meeting with Quality management and the theme was what and how can we assist the front liner staff.

On the other hand our ISOLATION list getting taller and it takes all day to finish. We stated making COVID and Non-COVID Isolation List it took all day. External reports send out to HERD.

We started switching shift for 24hours IC Preventionist coverage started from March 23

We were not limited to our usual activity. Any COVID patient with positive screening -IP use to assist- patient , Visitor , Nurse , PCA, providers and other services

Finding of PPE for staff. Mitigation of any Infection Control issue.

Interpreter as IP was stepping forward to assist the patient, and observe the donning and doffing process

A patient was in labor, scared-MD’s and RNs-ICP works as a counselor, assuring staff on the other hand I was not sure that my PPE will protect me or not.

Working with the team to create COVID Exposure plan making, able to make guidelines, Pronation Policy

I chose to contribute my offer in afternoon schedule. I left my house because my immune compromised child and my father who is 82 years old. I was staying in the COVID Hotel -no food at the beginning April. Scary sound of Siren got strike frequently.

Getting myself exposed daily in COVID UNIT- now is a story to tell. Lost two cousin in back home, could not attend in to funeral.

With limited resources we tried our best to work for safety, save ore staff to get exposed, Limit the droplet /airborne transmission and overall do as a job of Infection Preventionist.