We are shining a light on our #healthcareheroes. Meet Information Systems Team Leader Eric Peterman.
What inspires you to be a caregiver?
I enjoy finding solutions that will meet the needs of other caregivers. Every day there is another challenge waiting to for a solution to make sure the patients are able to be cared for.
How has your typical workday changed? What work are you doing or doing differently because of COVID-19?
The biggest change for my team and me is taking the extra precautions needed to keep everyone healthy and safe. I think it’s more in the forefront of our minds now with COVID. As a team, we interact with many departments and patients. We can go from working in intensive care, to the Acute Care for Elderly unit, then to the neonatal intensive care unit all in one day. We have to be sure we are taking all precautions needed in protecting ourselves, so we can protect the patients as well, when we need to work on the TV system, NurseCall or computer equipment inside a patient room.
What is keeping you motivated during these uncertain times?
Knowing that we have a purpose and we are able to have a direct impact of the needs of our caregivers. When the requirement is there for us to help stand up new locations to care for patients, to provide a workspace for displaced workers and a means for physicians to work remotely for video visits, we know we’re making an impact — even though we are behind the scenes and at times unnoticed. (His work included building and outfitting hundreds of workstations in a matter of days to accommodate increased telehealth visits during the height of the pandemic.)
What advice do you have for your fellow caregivers?
I’d say try to understand that we are all going through this together and understand there are differences in how we react. We don’t know what the person standing next to us (or on the phone) is going through. They, or someone at their home, could be at a higher risk. They might be missing someone they have not seen for months, or their child may be missing out on events and school. When engaging in conversation or helping with projects or working with a patient who can’t have the visitor they want to see, we need to understand their difficulties and respond in a caring manner.
What advice do you have for our community?
Hang in there. As pandemics in the past have come and gone, this one will as well. As a society we are at a special place that can allow us to defeat the virus by utilizing technologies never before used in our history. We have the means to keep moving forward while being able to remain safe. With the technologies in use today, we can still visit our loved ones, even if it is through a communication device. We also have the science, technology and perseverance to find solutions to the tough problems we are facing.