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GUEST ESSAY: Now is an especially good time to thank health care workers
Guest essay

GUEST ESSAY: Now is an especially good time to thank health care workers

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Every year, dedicated health care observance days and weeks create the opportunity to recognize the many health care professionals who devote their time and talent to improving health care in communities across the country.

This year, Doctors Day and National Nurses Week happen to fall near the one-year milestone of the global coronavirus pandemic. In honor of our local health care professionals — doctors, nurses and the entire team at Glens Falls Hospital — we are showcasing the team’s incredible work over the past year.

Courage and resilience are words that immediately come to mind when we think about the story that has unfolded during the pandemic. Every single day, team members have put their fears aside and voluntarily stepped into the unknown of a deadly virus. A year later, we are leaps and bounds from where we were in early 2020, but the same level of courage and commitment to caring for our community is evident. Our team of doctors, nurses, other caregivers and the support teams show up every single day, united by a shared purpose: protecting the health and well-being of our patients.

In health care, teamwork is critical. Collaboration and communication can improve patient outcomes, prevent medical errors, improve efficiency and increase patient satisfaction. Teamwork has always been essential to how we provide care at Glens Falls Hospital, but this past year has demonstrated the importance of teamwork in new and different ways.

At the onset of the pandemic, the team banded together to achieve common goals. As days passed and new regulations and clinical guidelines were introduced, the team had to adopt new treatment methods, protocols and more. That level of collaboration and the ability to adapt to major changes in a matter of hours or days is now simply part of who are.

As health care professionals, we commit to lifelong learning, but no one could have predicted the magnitude of learning opportunities that were brought on by the pandemic. We have been moving through a year of uncharted territory, and our response has required innovative solutions and out-of-the-box thinking. From innovations early on, such as planning to safely share ventilators if needed or the cross-training of team members in the event of a major surge, to the more recent challenge of operationalizing a vaccine clinic, the team tackled every challenge with a learning mindset.

You do not have to look far to find dozens of examples of courage, resilience, teamwork and innovative thinking at Glens Falls Hospital, always coupled with compassion. The doctors, nurses and entire hospital team have been instrumental to our preparation, response and recovery. We are honored to have such dedicated colleagues, and we are thankful they have chosen to use their skills here in Glens Falls.

As we move through 2021 and draw on the benefits of our affiliation with the Albany Med Health System, there will be more opportunities to recognize our team and all they’re doing to elevate care for the communities we serve. Our doctors and nurses, along with the other clinical and support teams across the organization, are the lifeblood of our community hospital.

Today and every day we say Thank You to them, and importantly, to you, who entrust your care to them.

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