May 15, 2020

Fever Clinic team: looking after each other

When the pandemic started, our Fever Clinic was quickly up and running to be able to test our community members and provide a local hub for everyone suspecting they might have the virus.

Madeleine Slaviero is a registered nurse who has been at Northern Health for three years, and is now a Fever Clinic nurse. Before the pandemic, she was a nurse on pool working at different campuses.

“When I first heard I would be working at the fever clinic I was a bit anxious, just because there was a lot of unknowns when it all started. Over time, I saw that we are well protected, in full PPE and now it just becomes like another day,” she said.

Madeleine now feels her experience as a Fever Clinic nurse turned out better than she expected.

“My typical day at Fever Clinic starts with a set-up before the crowds come and then I usually make sure we have enough stock to get through the day. Once the doors open, you never know who will come through and how busy we will be,” she explained.

As members of our community are really anxious about the current situation, calming them down and explaining the process is also a part of what the Fever Clinic nurses do.

“Because the testing criteria kept changing, people were initially confused and many of them thought that the ones tested positive for Covid-19 will end up in hospital or even worse. Just explaining that not everyone has a serious illness from this and reassuring the patients and helping them combat their fears and anxiety is having a positive impact on everyone,” she said.

Madeleine sees the Fever Clinic team as a close team working together and even though it has been a learning curve for everyone so far, she feels will still be learning in the months to come.

The team work is also something the Fever Clinic Manager, Natasha Knapic is proud of.

“The teamwork within the Fever Clinic has been outstanding. Staff have willingly gone to work in an area of the hospital where we are not only treating, but actively inviting, people who think they have COVID-19. It has been an honour to see the collaboration and respect within team interactions,” she said.

“I would just like to thank everyone for their hard work and persistence. It has been amazing to be part of such a valuable and inviting team,” Natasha added.

Roslyn Payne is responsible for the oversight of Fever Clinic, with assistance from Natasha Knapic as Manager, Mark Tang as Medical Advisor, Nursing Workforce, Clerical and Medical Workforce Units.

Some of the biggest challenges for both Natasha and Roslyn have been the changes of screening requirements and the significant fluctuations in demand for the service. The Fever Clinic staff is successfully managing those challenges, with the team looking out for each other.

“The staff that are working in the Clinic are amazing.  They are working in what can be a very stressful environment – where everyone possibly has COVID-19, yet every day they are positive and work together as a great team.  They look out for each other, making sure that their PPE is correct and are willing to train new staff into the environment,” Ros said.

“Thanks to everyone who has had a role in the establishment and delivery of the Fever Clinic service,” Ros added.

Madeleine Slaviero and Ros Payne