After working for 15 years at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Nicole Brown thought she had seen it all. Then, COVID-19 happened.
“It was scary,” Nicole, an environmental services (EVS) worker, says about the pandemic. “I always prayed before I went in. But I thought about it like… what if one of these patients were one of my family members?”
At Mercy, there was never any doubt the EVS team qualifies as essential healthcare workers. EVS workers perform cleaning and sanitation services that maintain the hospital itself, and individual patient rooms. Hardworking individuals like Nicole have always played a role in disease prevention – but this year in particular, were relied on to keep the hospital COVID safe.
“I like what I do,” Nicole says about her job. “I like to clean and I like to talk. And there’s a lot of change, so it’s something different every day.” She calls getting hired “a blessing” after being notified the facility where she used to work was closing.
Finding the Right Fit
Nicole, sanitizing a room between patients in Mercy Hospital’s ICU
Nicole has been on quite the health journey herself, even being hospitalized for a period of time. She says that sharing her own story is reassuring to patients who come to the hospital when they’re not at their best. “I was sick for a long time myself, and I like telling patients, ‘I had the tubes, I had the bag, and now look at me,'” she says. “I’m up, I’m working, and I’m fine.”
Above all, Nicole says the EVS team at Mercy is the right fit for people who like to stay busy.
“Nicole is a role model for the staff,” says Lisa Robert, Director of EVS at Mercy. “Her patients all know her by name.”
“The nurses I work with all love me, too,” Nicole says. “My laugh and my voice – that’s what gets them. And they know if I’m here, then the job’s going to get done.”
Love the Work You Do
Do you have what it takes to be a healthcare hero? Learn more about our current job opportunities at jobs.chsbuffalo.org or discuss career development with a member of our recruitment team at the number listed below.