Cole Barski ’12
In honor of National Nurses Week, today’s SJA Shining Star is Cole Barski ’12, a Registered Nurse at UVM Medical Center. He began his nursing career working on the cardiothoracic and vascular surgical floor from July 2016 until June 2018. In 2018, he started in the surgical ICU and has been there since.
As you can imagine, many aspects of his job have changed recently because of COVID-19.
A day in the life of Cole looks something like this…
Arrive at the hospital and put on your mask (cloth mask, if possible, until you arrive on your unit).
Enter the lobby, stop, have your temperature taken, and if you don’t have a fever you are allowed to continue.
Once on your unit — change into scrubs, and put on a surgical mask provided by the hospital.
Due to other floors being COVID-19 specific, you are no longer able to expect a certain population of patients. For example, the surgical ICU now cares for all critical care patients that are COVID-19 negative. This includes medical, surgical, neurology, pediatric, and neurology step down. In addition to a wide range of specialties, ICU nurses are also responsible for cross training nurses from other floors that are no longer caring for patients on their units.
Although caring for patients hasn’t changed, some procedure protocols have. Regardless if the patient is COVID-19 negative, nurses must wear an N95 mask for all aerosolizing procedures. If a mask is used and you are done your stretch of shifts (3 days in a row), the mask goes into a bag to be sterilized in order to conserve them.
Finally, at the end of your day you can change out of your scrubs, throw them in the hospital hamper, switch to your cloth mask, and head for your car where you can finally be mask free for the first time in 13+ hours.
Thank you, Cole! You are a true shining star.