At the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Chelsea and her EVS team were unsure of what to expect when the pandemic hit.

“Everything I’ve done in my role so far has prepared me for where we are now”

Chelsea Bolton, Systems Safety & Training Manager

At the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Chelsea and her EVS team were unsure of what to expect when the pandemic hit. Having worked at the medical center for 3 years, Chelsea felt prepared for the challenge even without knowing what each day would bring.

UC Medical Center is a union environment employing over 200 EVS workers – with each EVS worker playing a crucial role in keeping patients and staff safe. As the Systems Safety & Training Manager, Chelsea is part of the employee onboarding process and keeps close relationships with each member of her staff. In the beginning of March, UC Medical Center employees did not know what COVID-19 had in store for them and stayed cautious while supporting one another. Chelsea explains that the pandemic put a strain on her as well. 

“The unknown is what hit us the most. I hate not knowing the answer to a question, and when my EVS workers come to me with questions about COVID, I wasn’t able to answer those at first. That was really difficult for me.”

While fear was still present among EVS staff, they knew they were prepared for the pandemic with the support from each other, their hospital managers and community. UC Medical Center received food donations from various companies in the area, supplying meals for every employee. The outpouring support from the community alongside another layer of protection called the Surfacide UV-C system gave EVS workers more confidence when coming into work. UC Medical Center primarily uses the Surfacide UV-C system during second shift to decontaminate surfaces in isolation rooms. “They turn heads for sure. 77-inch tall machines lighting up the room. Everyone star gazes,” says Chelsea. 

As many healthcare centers worldwide felt the strain of COVID-19, UC Medical Center maintained enough PPE for all employees to stay safe and feel protected. Thanks to their EVS workers, patient rooms were cleaned daily, and infection rates stayed low. Chelsea expresses her gratitude for her EVS team. “I love my folks. I’ve been side by side with them forever. A lot goes unnoticed in what they pull off and do. They are hard-working and jump in whenever someone is needing help. Everyone is a team player.” 

The success of UC Medical Center’s EVS team was in part thanks to Chelsea’s creative support system. She recognizes that the hospital could not function without the EVS workers and does her part to be uplifting and enthusiastic in her role. Knowing the personalities of each EVS team, Chelsea assigned each group of 1-26 employees a name, some of which include, The Socialites, The Queen Bees, The Busy Bees, the COVID Chasers and The Impossibles. Having a support system and leader like Chelsea was the key to keeping spirits high even during difficult times. 

Not knowing how the spread of coronavirus would affect their facility, UC Medical Center supported one another and braced for the challenges that COVID-19 presented. Chelsea continues to support her EVS team daily and together they provide a safer environment for guests, patients and hospital staff.