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Why screeners and masks are so important in our facilities

screener

Everyone who comes to a CHCS hospital or clinic for an appointment has been met by a screener since late March. In Onaga, St. Marys, and Holton, we have dedicated screening staff members who meet patients and support persons at the door. At other clinics, registration staff provide screening, which involves taking temperatures and asking questions about symptoms and travel of those who enter and giving everyone a procedure mask to wear (with exceptions for young children or individuals who are not able to remove their mask).

CHCS and other healthcare facilities dedicate time and staff to screen all who enter so we can keep both our patients and workers safe. Those who have symptoms of or exposures to COVID-19 are identified so we can have them wait outside in their cars or go directly to exam rooms so we don’t risk infecting others. Screeners work closely with registration staff and clinic nurses to make sure patients are cared for as quickly and efficiently as possible. Their goal is never to demean anyone, but rather to ensure that everyone is kept as safe as possible.

Screening isn’t always an easy job. Many who visit our facilities are not feeling well, and they may be upset by the questions or by being told to wear a mask. Our screeners strive to maintain friendly, professional interactions with all. They also adapt to changing requirements; for instance, the questions they ask about travel and symptoms are determined by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and they are updated frequently. We appreciate our screening team’s adaptability and their patient explanations to those who may be upset by questions.

Masks are a crucial tool in our healthcare environment. Masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by minimizing respiratory droplets in the air. We have asked all who enter our facilities to wear masks since mid-July, and we switched to providing procedure masks for all starting October 26. We did this to protect our staff as well as patients so we can minimize the number of staff members who are required to quarantine because of exposure to COVID-19. We are not able to care for those who refuse to wear a mask unless they meet certain strict criteria (under age 2, unable to remove their own mask, or other severe medical issues that make wearing a mask dangerous; please note that such conditions are exceedingly rare). Please note that all need to wear the mask we provide properly – covering both their mouth and nose – throughout their visit.

Our aim is to keep providing the best possible care in a difficult time. Thank you for respecting our screeners and helping them do their job by answering the questions fully and by remaining polite, and thank you for protecting others in our facilities by wearing the mask we provide throughout your visit.

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