Photo Cameron Flaisch

Heather Baker did not expect to mark the one-year anniversary of earning her nursing degree working in the midst of a global pandemic. Heather and her husband Jeremy are both registered nurses working in The Emergency Care Center at Floyd Medical Center.

“It’s been a crazy, kind of chaotic experience,” Heather says of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s been hard just to make sure we’re doing the right thing all the time.”

Both Heather and Jeremy have worked with COVID-19 patients in the past few months. In fact, Jeremy was working the day that the first patient came to Floyd with symptoms of the virus.

“We already had it on our radar,” he says. “Our directors at the hospital did a good job pushing to have this patient tested.”

Both Jeremy and Heather said that the safety of patients, healthcare workers and the whole community is the hospital’s top priority. According to Heather, all hospital workers wear full protective gear and ensure that patients also receive masks. She said that hospital staff will immediately transfer any patient showing symptoms of COVID-19 to a negative pressure room to ensure the safety of staff and other patients. The hospital has implemented a no-visitor policy to keep the population in the hospital limited, and they have also increased sanitation throughout the facility.

Jeremy and Heather Baker
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“Our main goal is to keep all of our patients safe and to make sure that they are treated,” Heather says. “We’ve had a lot of patients that I feel like are scared to come to the ER now because they don’t want to get it.”

Heather and Jeremy want the community to know that it is perfectly safe to come to the ER because of all of the precautions they are taking.

“We don’t want people to just sit at home and be sick,” Jeremy says.

The safety precautions also extend to the Bakers’ life outside the hospital.

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“We see it all day long when we’re at work,” Heather says. The Bakers have cancelled vacations and avoided seeing friends and family to limit the chance of exposure.

 “On our off days, we want to take our mind off of it and relax and get away from that, but it’s been kind of hard to escape it because it’s everywhere you look,” Heather says.

Jeremy and Heather and their coworkers are very thankful for the support that they have seen from the Rome community.

“Sometimes we don’t get to personally say thank you or shake your hand,” Jeremy says. “We want you to know that we all really appreciate the support of the community that’s been behind us throughout all this.”