Behind the Scenes of COVID-19: the indispensable backstage staff

Lights on our backstage staff

Clinics and hospitals are bustling ever since the arrival of the pandemic in 2020. The medical teams are working hard to provide continuous care, which has owed them much kudos, and rightly so. Other workers, however, are also bringing their stone to the building of healthcare. We met Valentine Berthelot, Marie-Noëlle Veeren, Sarita Padarat and Billy France, who work in the shadows of the Clinique Bon Pasteur.

While the quality of care depends on the nursing staff, the proper running of a clinic depends on the relentlessness of the backstage workers. Sanitized living spaces, rooms cleaned from top to bottom, meals prepared with love and operational equipment: this is the heart of the clinic, and the first pitch towards quality care. If the COVID situation has shaken a few things up at the Clinic for these workers, everyday life remains roughly the same.

Billy, who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of machines, confirms: ‘Our day-to-day job hasn’t changed, we just need to be more vigilant and take more precautions.’ For these workers, whose presence has been continuous, even during the lockdown, the same protocols apply: wearing a mask, social distancing, hand sanitation, less social interactions…

For Marie-Noëlle, head of the laundry department, the fear that was present at the beginning has been very quickly dispelled by the urgency to help others. ‘A clinic cannot stop running, so we have done everything to ensure that patients have a safe space to receive treatment,’ she explains. ‘Thanks to the training and information provided by the Clinic, we are aware of the virus and have been able to adjust to the situation,’ she adds.

Same story with Sareeta, who is in charge of the cleaning. She is not so much afraid of being confronted with COVID every day, but rather worried about putting her close relatives at risk. ‘Still, taking part in the COVID effort came as a natural thing. We work harder every day, but we know it is necessary,’ she says.

Though the job is a little more demanding, it also has its good sides. Valentine, who runs the kitchen, heads into each day with optimism and smile. ‘My biggest motivation is to make people’s lives sweeter,’ she explains. Far from being overwhelmed by the situation, she welcomes each day as a challenge. ‘I am happy to please. I accommodate the desires of each patient and employee, and I cook up dishes that will warm their hearts,’ she continues.

Such workers are the essential cogs of the great machine that is the Clinic, and through their backstage work, they guarantee a safe and secure space. Dedication and determination are the key words. Without their daily effort, the Clinic could never operate properly and provide the quality care it offers today.

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