SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The threat of COVID-19 is even greater for those with already compromised immune systems. Here in Siouxland, the virus is changing the way the June E. Nylen Cancer Center is caring for its patients and staff.
The Center is rotating staff so they can limit the amount of people in the building at any one time and implementing clinical teams. They are also dividing the center’s specialized workforce into two teams and each team will rotate shifts.
“The whole purpose of this is that if we would have an exposure in the cancer center that it does not put our entire team at risk. Our goal is to stay operational and that we’re here to be sure that we can provide cancer treatment to our patients,” Christie Finnegan the marketing manager said.
Physicians will go through and assess which patients need urgent treatment and which can be delayed. Finnegan said they are working to protect their staff too.
“Our people are very specialized they have specialized skills, and we don’t have a lot of depth. If one of them would have an exposure it would probably expose the whole team,” Finnegan added.
Sandra Mueller is a cancer patient who just finished up treatment. She said her son was by her side at every appointment, but after COVID-19, he had to wait in the lobby.
“He’s my little buddy. He would go with me and accompany me to appointments. When I was getting treatment, he would always wait very patiently, and so this time I felt horrible,” Mueller said.
She says she doesn’t leave the house unless she has to because she knows she’s at a higher risk of getting sick and hopes others will take similar precautions.
“I know it’s tough and it’s difficult for all of us. Our regularly scheduled lives have been disrupted, but at the same time, we’re doing this to protect each other,” Mueller said.
Finnegan said all of the center’s patients and their families have been extremely accommodating to the new changes. She said they are continuing to be proactive in taking care of their cancer patients while also minimizing their risk of COVID-19.