We asked our Facebook friends to give us a piece of their minds.

Specifically, we wanted those essential workers that are working with the public right now during the pandemic what they wanted Maine and the world to know about being an essential worker during this time.

Today, we focus on Maine's healthcare and home healthcare individuals.  They work in hospitals, medical offices, in long-term care facilities and group homes.  They are working directly with the most vulnerable populations in Maine right now and are at high risk of getting the virus due to the nature of their livelihoods.

Here's what they had to say:

Brianne:
I work in healthcare and am a medical assistant for a outside practice. We’re still working hard to treat our patients. I feel like we’re doing more work currently than we were prior to covid. We no longer see patients in office, but offer zoom and phone visits. Aside from that, I also work the covid testing tent when needed

Sarah:
I work in occupational therapy at a local skilled nursing facility. The news articles about covid spread in nursing facilities scares me to the core. I want people to know that we love your family members in our care and will protect them fiercely. Also we will do just about anything to make them smile during this difficult time.
As far as my job specifically We are diligent to ensure your family members do not lose physical function or meaningful quality of life and engage them daily . Family can help. Come to the window and wave! Call often. Set up zoom or FaceTime! We will help!
Yes we are serious about the shortage of PPE.

Yvette:
I work in home health care, it is not right that we have to risk our health and families health for the same pay, you are 💯% correct. That said, I am Happy to be there for my clients. If we weren’t they would be going through this isolation alone, it’s bad enough that they can’t go anywhere especially since most of them are at risk.
I suppose I’d like the public to know a lot of what we already do know But we don’t put into practice on a daily basis. We know that The only way to prevent things like this is to be clean , sanitary and mindful of your surroundings And interactions. The basics Like for example, cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands often, stay home if you’re sick. This should be an effect on a daily basis not just when we have a Pandemic. I believe after this is all said and done the American people are gonna look at life a lot differently, And how they approach their daily
activities.
God bless and stay safe everyone. For anyone that’s lost love ones through this I am so very sorry for your loss. We will get through this together.
A huge thank you to all the essential workers out there. We do put ourselves and our families at risk on a daily basis. Take care, be safe, and God bless!!

Danica:
I am a CNA at a nursing home and our residents are having such a hard time with this because their families can’t see them during this pandemic, right now we are their back bone and only people they get to see. Please be grateful that you guys can hug and kiss your family as some people can’t.

Michael:

I work in a residential group home it's 24/7 so I have to go to work.

Nellie:
I am in home health care, I have to go out every day and take care of others family members. I go out knowing I have my own family who needs me. The thing is, I love my job and I am grateful to be still working.

Ann:
We in the healthcare field deserve hazard pay. Like the unemployed, like 600 bucks extra a week. It's a slap in the face to see people making 600 extra just sitting there, not working. Self employed lose as well. Sad. Not well thought out to make essential working and self employed Americans happy and appreciated.

Brittany:
I am a CRMA/DSP who works a 3 day live-in at a group home with 6 individuals who have intellectual and cognitive disabilities. When we enter the home, the first thing we have to do is wash our hands and take our temperature. We have to take it twice a day as well as taking the clients temps and ask them questions about having covid symptoms . We are now required to wear masks if we are not 6 feet apart from them or other staff working in the home. We also have a No visitor policy and it breaks my heart to see my clients not able to see their guardians unless it is from a computer screen. Their schedules have been messed up and they are frustrated because they can’t even go get their favorite ice cream. It has definitely made it hard and stressful around the house trying to keep everyone busy and happy but I am so grateful I am there to attend to their needs and that I still have a job taking care of them ❤️

Tessa:
I work for KidsPeace, yes our other locations are shut down but the Ellsworth location remains open because it residential. it’s hard yes because your scared that your gonna bring something home to your family or in my case my entire apartment complex but in these tough times you have decide what’s best and be better safe than sorry.

Pamela:
I work in a nursing home, I'm essential. I have several roles. Pass medication, their visitor, family, safe keeper, nurturer, family, only contact on that shift. I go to work every shift hoping I dont get sick. Its a slap in the face to hear people brag how they are making more sitting home doing nothing than me having to go to work. I dont have the option to sit home if I don't feel comfortable going to work. I wouldn't get unemployment. People should not be making more on unemployment than when they were working. It should be the same. Their expenses should be less. Not having to pay for say care, not having to buy gas ect.

Crystal:
I am a Certified Medical Assistant and have been placed checking the symptoms and temperatures of employees, visitors, and patients at the hospital. It is safe to say approx 1000 people come through the door to be screened during my shift. I have more exposure to people now than I would in a week in my normal role. I agree the essential worker should get something extra. I also agree that when being a healthcare worker it is my duty to do the work that I do. With that said no one thought we would be facing something like this.
Lisa:
I work in healthcare, I’d just like people to know that wearing gloves everywhere will not protect you. Wash ya hands and be smart. We can’t live like this forever, we have to have common sense. Cover your coughs and sneezes, then wash your hands. Also, I’d like to see a bit more kindness. This whole thing is really showing a lot of ugly in people. We are all in this together and I can’t change what’s going on anymore then my neighbor. So please people, be nice. We’re all having a hard time with this.

Vanessa:
checking in from a Covid-19 hot spot urgent care and ready to help those that are sick.... I would really like for those who aren't taking this seriously to do so, as this is not fun for me and nor my family. I have to come home strip down jump in the shower and wear a mask in Hope's not to contaminate my family. Please stay home and do your part. Also please be nice and not be rude to us. We are trying to keep you safe.

Ernest:
I work in a residential group home. 24 hr supports, As an essential worker we are putting ourselves at risk, because, we have to be there, People with disabilities dont have "days off". They depend on us to be there for them to go get the essentials (ie food, toiletries, and such) but, as the stay at home order goes on, we must get creative with our time.
We must find other things to keep our clients from becoming bored. We do everything from arts and crafts, to playing board games, to just going for a long ride to just get out and see the sights.
We encourage our clients to call family often,
We know its tough on our clients to not see their families as much as they want to at this time. So we try to keep them as busy as possible and be a surrogate family to them.

Holli:
I work as a Medical assistant for a company in brewer, we are now expected to do so much more than we were prior. We are picking up other people positions as well as still doing our own and the phone has become a constant non stop part of my job. I love what I do and I love that I’m helping to keep people safe but the demand on us has increased tremendously, and the time we have to do said jobs is now decreased, before if we could validate overtime it was allowed, now valid reason or not we can not get any overtime. Patients are upset at the new protocols and the amount of disgruntled calls we get has also gone up weather it be being upset about not being able to come in the office to see a provider or being upset because we are telling them they need to be seen by a provider, as our walk in is still open. We must maintain a 6ft distance between our coworkers as well as wear a mask all day long. Everything is in a state of constant change. For someone to say that essential employees feel a sense of entitlement is actually very insulting. I in no way feel entitled, I feel tired, emotionally and physically. I feel appreciative that I still am employed, I feel scared as I do not know what the future brings, but entitled no, I do not feel entitled.

Jaymi:

Holli you nailed it! I couldn't have said it any better. Primary healthcare has completely changed by the way we communicate with patients now through telemed. Although some like it, others are awful and rude about it. We go to work every day and take calls all day long, more than ever before to keep up with the change and continuity of care. we are there to help maintain people's health and keep people out of the hospitals. some visits in office are necessary while others should be a telemed visit to keep people out of the office. I myself have experienced a major increase of unpleasant patients over the phone and the entitlement they feel they have on being rude because they simply dont agree with new protocols. I assure you us healthcare workers dont like this change, we are adapting as everyone else is trying to do. we cant wait to see people back in the office and go back to our "normal" work flows. But people, these protocols are in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. Understand it, respect it, and be kind to everyone because you dont know what a person is going through

Shirley:

I’m a Medical Assistant at a local pediatricians office - I just would like the public to know that we’re all in this together! Everyone has their role, weather it be staying home.. or working. We are ALL essential in our own ways ❤️

 

Misty

I am a CNA-M passing meds at a local skilled nursing home. Essential worker or not we all need to practice good hand washing and staying home when we can. We are doing the best we can but the community i work in the elderly population are scared and can't see their families and there immune systems are compromised so we need to protect them and ourselves. 😷 stay safe we will all get through covid 19 together ..

Suzy

I'm a concierge at a retirement community. I accept the many, many deliveries that come in daily, sanitize the incoming items and common areas that are touched (door handles, furniture edges) man the phones, help the residents place internet orders for necessities, manage maintenance requests and basically do whatever is necessary to keep our independent but aging population comfortable.

Karen

I work at a nursing home/long term care facility. My job is clerical/payroll but I am unable to do my job from the safety of my home. I am grateful I am employed but echo the statements that it is unfair someone collecting unemployment is being paid more than I am.

Samantha:
I'm a veterinary technician. Many vet clinics are extremely short staffed due to covid. So stop getting angry when we can't get your dog who just needs a nail trim in immediately. Or when we are unable to answer the phone immediately. We have to check in, check out, and get histories over the phone, which ties up our phone lines and staff members. We are overbooked and overwhelmed every single day. Chill out. We're trying.