By now, we’ve all seen videos and posts from exhausted nurses and doctors who are working like mad under less-than-ideal circumstances to treat patients during this pandemic. We’ve also seen the well-deserved recognition and praise they’ve received for putting their own lives at risk to save others. They are heroes, and should absolutely receive a hero’s acknowledgment.
But there are others working on those front lines as well—folks that medical facilities rely on as much as our critical care workers, but who are rarely ever seen, much less acknowledged. They don’t receive anywhere near the pay or the respect that care providers do, but as a viral Facebook post points out, our medical facilities would come to a grinding halt without them.
Here’s to the hospital janitors, housekeepers, custodians, and other support workers who keep our medical facilities clean and safe. They literally clean up human waste, bodily fluids, and other contaminants that give us all the willies, day in and day out. They wipe, sweep, mop, sanitize, change sheets, dispose of trash, and make the environment as sterile as it needs to be. We often forget that none of the good work that doctors and nurses do would be possible without these workers.
The cleaning crews deserve our thanks, but they also aren’t the only ones. There are other support staff in hospitals who also play a vital role in keeping our healthcare system running smoothly. The secretaries, receptionists, maintenance workers, technicians, and other behind-the-scenes workers who manage the running of the facilities and systems that enable medical caregivers to do their job of treating people and saving lives deserve our thanks as well.
Along with our front line doctors and nurses, these people are also putting their own health on the line. They are going toward the fire. They are making sacrifices that most of us aren’t being asked to make.
And they are doing all of that without an impressive paycheck or high societal status.
So thank you, medical support staff. You are heroes in your own right, and we are grateful for what you do.