As needs change at Augusta Health, so do jobs

Shelley Payne (L) and Jackson Maust (R) have found themselves in new roles during the COVID-19 pandemic. | Credit: WHSV
Shelley Payne (L) and Jackson Maust (R) have found themselves in new roles during the COVID-19 pandemic. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: May. 2, 2020 at 4:23 PM EDT
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Jobs in the healthcare field have changed because of COVID-19, and so have the needs at Augusta Health. Jackson Maust and Shelley Payne have seen their jobs shift, as different needs come up.

Jackson Maust normally works as a physical therapist in several departments at Augusta Health. He also volunteers as an EMT.

"Typically I see patients further down the line as they have had some sort of acute change in their health status, and I tend to help them get back to their normal baseline," Maust said.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed that. Now, Maust is working as an emergency department tech and EMT.

"There's a ton of new roles, and new tasks that I'm learning as I sort of move into this role," Maust said.

As an ED tech, there are a number of things he could be asked to do.

"Things from starting IVs, drawing blood for labs, transporting people around the hospital, doing splinting and wound care," Maust said.

Maust said he appreciates working in another department and seeing what they do.

'It's been really really rewarding," Maust said. "I feel like in some instances, I've been able to use some of my PT insight to help them, and that's been ideal."

For Maust, like others, this is a time of change. Shelley Payne is also in a new role at Augusta Health. Normally, she is the recreation therapy supervisor.

"Most of my day was spent providing one on one treatments or group treatments either on our acute rehab unit, our skill care unit, the mental health units, or anywhere else throughout the hospital," Payne said.

Now, Payne works as a liaison in the emergency department.

"Now I spend my day in the foyer of the emergency room, welcoming patients and visitors as they come in, doing their screenings," Payne said.

That's not her only job as liaison. She also works to connect family members with patients and healthcare providers.

"Meeting with patients in the tower to offer resources, to offer opportunities for them to FaceTime their family members, and just have that connection with someone, since visitation is so limited," Payne said.

Payne says it can be hard for family members who have to leave their loved ones alone at the hospital, and there can be a lot of questions. Her job is to help them as best as she can.

"Letting them know, you know, its going to be okay, and offering support, and the phone numbers that they need to be able to reach out to find out how their loved one is doing," Payne said.

For Payne, her role is an important one during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

'You know, it's keeping the human in what we do," Payne said.

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