Taking Pride in Safety at our Covid wards

Graphic - Monash Health COVID-19 Anthology

We’ve received some compelling and imaginative submissions for our COVID-19 Anthology and are eager to showcase examples that will inspire more contributions from our employees and volunteers. 

When everything changes all at once 

Jason Moss’s journey with Monash Health began in January 2001, when he joined the Children’s Ward at Dandenong Hospital. After six months of gaining valuable experience working with young patients, he began his postgraduate certificate in paediatric nursing at Monash Medical Centre in July 2001. For nearly 23 years, Jason has been a dedicated Monash Health employee. 

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I served as an Associate Nurse Manager on Ward 4B Aviary at Monash Children’s Hospital. However, in the early stages of the pandemic’s outbreak in Victoria, I sustained a workplace injury. The pandemic’s restrictions and the limitations posed by virtual therapy consultations prolonged my recovery process.” 

Fortunately, a temporary position as a Clinical Support Nurse within the Paediatric Education Team emerged, aligning perfectly with his Return-to-Work plan. For over two years now, he has been dedicated to this role, ensuring that our nursing team is well-equipped to deliver exceptional care to our young patients. 

Jason’s initiative 

With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ward 4B Aviary was designated as the COVID positive intake ward into their negative pressure rooms. Recognising the need for clear signage to communicate and enforce proper isolation precautions, Jason embarked on a mission to safeguard his colleagues, patients, and their families from the virus’s spread. 

Researching evidence-based practices and guidelines from countries experiencing a surge in COVID outbreaks, he adhered to the recommendations from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and the Department of Health and Human Services, utilising the information available at the time. 

Sourcing materials from Monash Health’s intranet and on the internet, Jason assembled half a dozen signage packs, each containing a variety of signs specifically designed for paediatric COVID positive admissions. These packs were strategically placed in a central location, ensuring easy accessibility for all ward nurses. 

“As the pandemic intensified, other paediatric inpatient wards began receiving COVID-positive admissions. I observed staff from these wards seeking guidance on appropriate signage for their patients. Only months later, I learned from my Nurse Manager, Emma Goodes, that the signage packs I had created had been adopted across all paediatric inpatient wards at Monash Children’s, a testament to their effectiveness in promoting patient safety and infection control.” 

Bright moments in a dark time 

During Jason’s time as the Forest COVID ward’s PPE safety officer, he encountered an exhausted ICU nurse working long shifts who helped him take pride in this challenging work –  

“I will never forget the time an ICU nurse thanked me for keeping her safe, and it meant the world to me. It made me realise that the work I was doing was making a difference. In the face of immense stress and uncertainty, our healthcare system was put to the test. Yet, amidst the chaos, it was the unwavering commitment of our Monash Health colleagues that shone through. They tirelessly worked long hours, often under tough conditions, in full PPE. Their selfless acts of service were a beacon of hope during a time of great anxiety and fear. This made me proud to be part of Monash Health.” 

Building connections through the pandemic 

As the designated PPE safety nurse for the designated COVID ward at Monash Children’s Hospital, for COVID positive adults and children, Jason was on the frontline of the COVID ward ensuring proper personal protective equipment (PPE) was adhered to by any staff member that entered the ward during the pandemic.  

This role enabled him to build relationships and collaborate with staff from various departments as they adapted to this unprecedented event. One of his proudest accomplishments was creating safety and infectious disease signage for COVID cohort of patients for his ward, 4B Aviary. These signs were later adopted and used across all MCH sites.  

During the pandemic the learning curve was steep, as nearly every day brought new guidelines and recommendations from the Victorian Chief Medical Officer, DHHS and the Victorian Department of Health, and wearing PPE like N95 masks, face shields, infection gowns and gloves for long periods of time.  

Jason found that being adaptable and staying current on the latest evidence-based practices and DHHS recommendations related to PPE was crucial. He also provided hands-on donning and doffing training sessions to make sure all staff understood the proper techniques to avoid contamination. Playing his part, he saw a community coming together to protect the vulnerable like never before. 

 “Looking back, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve during an incredibly challenging time. The knowledge and connections gained were invaluable, especially the camaraderie with fellow nurses and providers on the frontlines. We worked tirelessly to keep each other safe while providing compassionate care to critically ill patients and each other. It was stressful but rewarding work that I will never forget.” 

 Don’t miss your chance to submit your experiences of the pandemic in the Monash Health COVID-19 Anthology. Submissions are being accepted until Friday, 22 December 2023 here! 

Approved by: David Bloxham, General Manager, Communication and Engagement   

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