New York 4/13/2020 Samantha Heavrin

KyANA CRNAs on the COVID-19 Front lines in the HotSpots
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Post edited by KyANA to remove identifying companies and names. If you are interested in information about the specific companies, please email [email protected] to have Samantha Heavrin contact you directly with information.  

Day 9: All About Deployments.  Hello friends. I have had a lot of questions about coming to work in NYC. Today, I’m going to talk about how that came about and how other people can do the same.  A few weeks ago, Governor Cuomo issued a call for healthcare providers to deploy to NYC from across the US. This deployment included a number of important details, such as expedited background checks, to hasten the response.

Salle and I heard about the first deployment company and signed up immediately. When we deployed thru K___, we were placed in the RN category. They had zero idea what a CRNA does.

Salle McAfee and I were among the first group to arrive. It took a few days to get situated but we were up and working by day 3.  K___ serves the public hospitals in NYC. The facilities are worn and dilapidated. PPE is limited (you don’t work without it). The hospitals are extremely short staffed. There is little to no orientation to your facility. However, despite the negatives, the staff members are very nice, completely grateful and immensely dedicated.  These shifts are 12 hours for 21 days. You have a 50/50 shot of getting nights or day shifts. You can take 2 paid shifts off during your deployment. If you get sick there is paid coverage. I’m not sure about the details but I believe it’s covered under worker’s compensation.

K___ utilizes bus transports. The buses are not always timely. Coming to work or going home could mean an hour wait. Orchestrating this massive group of individuals is cumbersome. K___ probably has 3000 nurses here now. It has become more of a herding, as opposed to personalized. I can’t criticize them for these things because they are working hard under difficult circumstances.

The K___ healthcare teams are stationed in a handful of hotels across the city. Some of the hotels have nice amenities and some do not. When we originally deployed, we were in a hotel with a kitchenette. My friends, in other hotels, did not have a coffee pot, fridge or microwave. We did get a daily food allowance but it’s difficult to keep anything perishable in the room (depending on your hotel).

After a few days with K___ l, Salle and I received a phone call from our company. Our company, A___ had partnered with E___ and was deploying an anesthesia team to NYC. Salle and I contacted K___ that we were leaving them and went to our anesthesia group.  We moved hotels that day. We are now staying in the Marriott Marquis at Times Square.  We have little fridges. As E___ employees, we have breakfast bagged and waiting in a refrigerator on a designated floor. It’s always the same: egg and sausage sandwich, fruit, yogurt and muffins. Dinner is waiting in the warmer and it’s bagged ‘to go’ also. Dinner is a meat, rice or potatoes, veggies and usually 2 desserts. Lol, not 1 but 2 treats.

Like K___, we also get an eating allowance. Everything in NYC is delivery, including groceries. Grubhub is our bff.  E___ has a group of 150 anesthesia providers. As of this week, they will be adding RNs to the deployment.  E___ is serving the private hospital network in NYC. We work 7-7. We decide whether to work days or nights. We are required to work 3 shifts a week but we can work as many as we want. Most people work 2 shifts on and 1 shift off. Salle, Nicole and I just completed our schedule for the next 8 weeks and we’re mixed between 4 and 5 shifts a week.

In terms of deployment length, we were offered 4, 6 or 8 weeks. After your time is completed, you follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine. If the CDC requires quarantine, then you are paid a percentage of your income during those days. Currently, the CDC requires 10 days but, that could change.  If you get sick, you are paid a percentage of your salary and are cared for. They will move you out of this hotel and place you elsewhere.

Transportation for E___ is by car service. We have flooded them with work so we’ve had to also utilize a corporate Uber account.  Dr. J., our boss, has a suite with adjoining rooms on either side. He is available to us 24/7. The rooms adjoining his suite are filled with supplies for us, from food to Sudoku to PPE. I wanted the people of Walmart coloring book but someone else got it. :disappointed.  Families and friends have been sending so many incredible items, it’s like Christmas when we go in there.  We also have mental and physical health options. We were given in-room workout bags. We have special online, live, yoga classes by an NYC yogi. We have contacts for emotional support and grieving.  Envision fills our hearts, souls and stomachs, allowing us to meet the Covid challenge.

I am working extremely hard for E___. I come home exhausted. I work outside of my scope of practice (Cuomo says we can) and I live for the day I can return home. But, I would do it the same every time. If I had to change one thing, I wouldn’t have worked for K___. While they’re doing a great job, the deployment is too large and I felt lost in the mix. However, each person needs to decide for themselves.

The E___ contact for MDs, CRNAs and RNs is D___.  I have known D___ for a few years now. She is, by far, the most incredible boss with which I have had the pleasure of working. If you’re looking to deploy, contact D___ and learn about your options.  God bless everyone and I wish you all peace during these Covid times. Stay safe my friends.

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