Essential Workers

Michael Flood Jr., a Black home health therapist, stands on an apartment building pathway looking to the side. He is wearing dark blue scrubs, a stethoscope, and a red baseball cap that reads "Essential Healthcare Staffing"

Much respect, honor, and love to all those frontline healthcare professionals and staff working in the acute hospitals. ❤

What does it mean for me to be an “essential worker” during these times? As a medical Speech Language Pathologist working in the Home Health setting, that means working to prevent the most vulnerable population from being re-admitted into the hospital. Most of my days are filled with patients needing services to rehabilitate their swallow and diaphragmatic retraining to improve respiration and breathing patterns for speech and swallowing. I still do what most people think of when thinking of a Speech Pathologist: speech and communication. During this COVID-19 crisis it has been critical that my patients (new and old) maintain healthy lungs and breathing patterns, and more importantly abiding by the Shelter in Place orders. Just as you should be doing, staying at home. The most vulnerable population you will not see on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. About 15% of the US population is above 65 and this number will exponentially grow over the next several decades. This will be your parents and ultimately you one day. 

What can you do to help today? 

1. “Shelter in Place” means just that. Stay at home or limit the amount activity outside the home. 
2. Contact your elderly and vulnerable family members and see if they need anything dropped off at their home. 
3. Call, Facetime, video chat your elderly family members. They need interactions too. (You’d be surprised how many Grannies I see working the iPhone and tablets) Try the Nextdoor App. 
4. Reach out to the essential workers (from the Healthcare professionals to grocery store workers) and thank them. Ask them if they need any supplies. You never know. Supplies are low everywhere, not just in the hospitals.  

Thank you to everyone doing their part, because we are ALL in this together! 

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