Terra State alumni assist on front line

Many Terra State Community College medical alumni are working hard to assist those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nurses and other medical professionals are teaming up to battle this novel virus. A 2014 Terra State graduate, Katherine Huffman, who is currently working in the COVID unit at ProMedica Bay Park Hospital said, “Working in nursing during this pandemic is something like I have never experienced before. I find myself facing new challenges every day that I have never faced before. There are defeats and victories daily. It is sometimes very difficult to fight the good fight against the virus as we know little about it and the data and best clinical practices seem to change on a daily basis.”

Amber Riedmaier-Fisher
Amber Riedmaier-Fisher

A 2015 Terra State graduate working in ER at ProMedica Memorial Hospital in Fremont, Amber Riedmaier-Fisher, agrees. “It’s a completely new process,” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to go away. I think it’s just adapting to a new way of thinking.”

Because of the pandemic, hospitals and other medical facilities are making more and more necessary changes. According to Huffman, ProMedica Bay Park Hospital is expanding its units at multiple hospitals in the system to keep up with the ever changing needs.

A 2018 Terra State graduate working in the front office staff at Firelands Counseling and Recovery Services of Huron County, Paula Bryant, is adjusting to her own changes. “I spend a lot more time on the phone now,” she said. “Many clients call in inquiring if their appointment is canceled or that they are too scared to come in for it.”

According to Riedmaier-Fisher, in addition to wearing face protection and N95 masks, they are no longer wearing their scrubs to and from work anymore. They are changing when they get to work and changing again when they go home.

One way these alumni are getting support is through their teammates. “There are two other Terra grads that I work with and they’re some great people,” said Riedmaier-Fisher. “You have to be able to rely on your coworkers. We might be leaving our true family at home, but our work family is just as important to us.”

“This pandemic has shown how amazing the teamwork in front line health care can be and the amazing work we are able to do in a time of continued crisis,” said Huffman.

Moving forward, all three Terra State graduates are encouraging everyone to stay home when possible. “We have been pleaded with by leaders of our cities, states and country to take this pandemic seriously,” said Bryant. “This is a time to stay home with our families and strengthen those bonds.”

“We need follow what [the governor] tells us,” said Riedmaier-Fisher. “I know it’s a pain to not be able to go out, but it’s all for a reason.”

“The best advice that I can offer to the community is to stay home, wash your hands, social distance and sanitize your house,” said Huffman.

One more note Riedmaier-Fisher wanted to say to the community is thank you. “I want to say thank you for the out pouring of love from the community,” she said. They have received homemade masks, N95 covers and random food deliveries. “I feel like this outbreak has almost brought respect back into the medical field, which we’ve kind of lacked for a very long time,” she said.