Unsung Heroes of the pandemic: Environmental Services

Unsung heroes of the pandemic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - When we think about those on the frontlines caring for the sickest of COVID-19 patients, we often talk about the doctors and nurses leading the way but there’s a group of people that do not get much attention, but their jobs are significant in the fight against COVID-19.

Some healthcare workers call the people who work in environmental services the unsung heroes of the pandemic.

“The patient is very important to me”, Vanetria Dabney EVS Manager at UAB said.

We spoke to a few of the people who work in environmental services at UAB.

“We’ve had to endure a lot of change, “said Edward Crump, UAB Senior Director EVS.

Those changes include rigorous and repetitive cleaning practices.

“We now do double cleaning in COVID patient rooms,” Dabney said.

The stressful work is also risky, according to UAB Director of EVS, John Fillmore.

“We have to wear an N95 mask. We have on gloves. We have gowns. The personal protective equipment is key,” Fillmore explained.

COVID patient rooms get extra attention.

“There are about 22 frequently touched surfaces,” said Fillmore.

Frequently touched surfaces include bed rails, light switches, bathroom fixtures, and doorknobs.

Once the patient is discharged, more cleaning is done.

“We are using an electrostatic sprayer that has charged disinfectant in it. and it sprays the front, back, and sides of surfaces,” said Dabney.

They may not get all the glory but at UAB it takes a dedicated team of hundreds of employees to keep staff and patients safe.

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