NAME: Amanda Goldberg, 21, Fayetteville
OCCUPATION: Mobile X-ray technologist
Amanda Goldberg works for a mobile X-ray and ultrasound company that has technicians across the state. Her job takes her to nursing homes and jails in the region, including in Cumberland County. The patients she’s worked with range from age 16 and older in the jails, 25 to 60 in group homes or 55 to older than 100 in nursing homes.
As told to Rachael Riley
“I haven’t gotten as many calls from the jails, but with the nursing homes it’s crazy. It’s like overloaded.
“For some of the exams if it’s more of chronic pain and they (the patient) have been having the issue for a while, they try to hold off as long as possible; but if they suspect that there is a fracture, or if they have pneumonia — because a lot of the pneumonia cases have been turning into COVID — they’re trying to stay on top of all of that.
“I’ve worn all of my personal protective equipment, so I feel like I’ll be OK. But yes, I have (worked with) quite a few COVID patients.
“I’ve been feeling just fine, and after my shift I switch out my shoes. I don’t ever bring my shoes into the home. I spray down my clothes with Lysol, and I get in the shower as soon as I get back home, so I try to cut out any possibility of contaminating my house as much as possible.
“It’s definitely changed. I’ve become more cognizant of everything I’m doing, because I’m making sure to put on all my (personal protective equipment) beforehand, which takes a couple of minutes. And then I take about 10-15 minutes to just wipe everything down, load everything back into my car and then I spray down my steering wheel. I spray down the handles — all of that to make sure it’s a clean slate.
“Some of them (facilities) are running low on masks and the precaution gowns, so our company provides us some and I’ll bring them in. But if they offer it to me, I’ll take it just so I can save my own equipment. Sometimes they have N95s (medical masks) for us. A lot of them don’t, unfortunately, because of how rare they’ve become; but I’ll take whatever they’ll give me.
“If the facility has any suspicion that they (a patient) may be positive or they know that they’re positive, my company asks that we put masks on before we do their X-rays, just so we kind of have a double barrier. So a lot of them understand there’s something going on, and they want to be as helpful as they can. And then unfortunately some of the patients are confused about why I’m putting a mask on them and why no one can come visit them. They don’t understand what’s going on, so I try to explain as much as I can what I’m doing.
“Some of the patients will ask me what I’ve seen or how I’ve been doing, cause I actually have a couple of repeat patients that I’ll see every couple of weeks … they know I travel around and they ask me how I’m feeling and all that. Most of the tension I see is with the nurses. I have such respect for all the nurses and the (certified nursing assistants), because I can see how stressed they are, and they’re running low on PPE, as well. They’re trying to preserve as much as they can without infecting the healthy patients.
“I’ve been trying to figure out the right time to see my family and to see my friends, because I know they have the (stay-at-home) order up right now; but I know once they start opening up everything, I’m still going to be taking care of COVID patients, so I have to figure out the right time to bring them (friends and family) back into my life, because I don’t want to get anyone else sick. I would feel horrible if I did that. So I’m just trying to find the right balance, and I try to stay positive.”