Health gatekeepers will make your day

Registered nurse Maria Aida and dental assistant Lorena Da Silva at the Blacktown Hospital main entrance COVID-19 screening station.

Whether you’re an employee, patient or visitor, we all have something in common: all of us are screened at the entrance to a Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) facility.

Health screening stations were introduced on 7 April across the district to help protect everyone from the spread of COVID-19.

Since then, our amazing staff – the “health gatekeepers” – have been deployed from different departments including ambulatory surgery, oral health, geriatric units, COVID-19 wards and the casual pool.

Veronica Morgan, enrolled nurse and a coordinator of health screening stations at Westmead Hospital, described her gatekeeping experience as rewarding.

“We felt the impact of our work as the number of COVID-19 cases plunged,” Veronica said.

“It’s not just about containing the virus. We triage arriving patients and make sure they’re sent in the right direction.

“It’s amazing to see how compliant and appreciative everyone is, and we’re thankful too. It’s great to see everyone being on board!”

Complete with a friendly greeting and big smile – entrance screening has become a favourite part of the day for many WSLHD employees.

Registered nurse Charmie Magayaga gets her temperature checked as part of the screening process at Blacktown Hospital.

Maria Korol from Westmead Education Conference Centre said screening stations made her feel safe.

“I’m new to NSW Health and WSLHD, and I feel confident coming to work. They are always so smiley and happy, we exchange jokes all the time,” she said.

“As much as I’m looking forward to our life getting back to normal, I will truly miss being greeted and asked how I’m feeling every morning.”

Aditi Mukherjee, registered nurse at Westmead ambulatory surgical unit, has been on rotation roster for screening stations over the past two weeks.

“We meet people from all walks of life here and even though it’s a very short encounter, we love to keep everyone positive and happy. Just a smile can go a long way,” Aditi said. 

“Everyone appreciates our efforts, and we love it! It’s safety for all, that’s what matters!”

Westmead staff screen about 8000 people daily. WSLHD facilities are allocated 24,000 wristbands each day.