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Wayne Gray

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I never thought I'd be playing God.

I manage twelve small clinical labs, including the staff that go along with them. I plotted out minimum staffing levels to run each. I asked for volunteers to go on unemployment while our business contracted, and patients stopped coming in for routine visits. The idea, so beautifully expressed on paper, was to have those "extra" staff waiting - out of the line of fire, and hopefully staying healthy away from the front lines of this epidemic.

One of those front-line staff has been hovering on the edge of sick for a week. Yesterday, it was worse, and her temp climbed past the cut-off. We sent her home, and she has been tested. We're now waiting on results.

Her relief is a mother of two small children who has asthma. I called her this morning.

"Hey. Good morning. I need you at the clinic on 10th."
"Good morning, Wayne. Okay." She says something to someone in the room, then comes back to the phone. "I'll be a little late, I just need to get the baby set up for my husband."
"No problem. Take your time. I'll let the site administrator know the lab will open a little late." I pause, debating. How bad would it be if that lab stayed closed? This particular clinic is right on the plaza area in town. It's a place where homeless and the worst off in the county congregate, even now ... since they don't have anywhere else to go. I'd essentially take medical services from them if we closed this lab. To keep it open, I'm asking her to risk her health ... considering her condition, potentially her life. I clear my throat. "Hey. Thanks for working."
I listen as she takes a breath. "It's what we do, right?"
"Yeah. Be safe. Let me know if you run low on masks, I'll steal from other sites if I have to get them to you."
"Thanks, Wayne. I'll be online soon. See you then."

She hung up.

I don't like playing God.

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5 Comments


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I do want to add ...

I'm so proud of them. I feel such a deep and profound appreciation for what they're doing daily. They're wonderful, brave, and amazing ... and I'm doing my best to support them.

They are the ones doing the work. My job right now is to make sure they can keep doing it as long and as safely as possible.

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Your role, and that of the people you work with and manage, is so, so important right now. I'm proud of you.

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8 minutes ago, Thorn Wilde said:

Your role, and that of the people you work with and manage, is so, so important right now. I'm proud of you.

Thanks, Thorn. They're doing the hard stuff, and I'm really proud of them.

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