County woman has unique role in COVID battle
Another Switzerland County native is a part of battling the COVID-19 pandemic in this area.
Megan Meadors is currently a Clinical Coordinator for The Department of Thoracic Surgery at UC Health, a level one trauma center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her department has clinic offices in Clifton and in West Chester. Since she is the only Clinical Coordinator/Medical Secretary for her department, she must travel to both locations to serve her patients and support her providers. Megan also must be able to make sure the EDC (Esophageal Disease Clinic) runs smoothly if the Coordinator for that program is unavailable.
She was hired and trained to take over as the EDC Program Coordinator which is a multi-disciplinary clinic where patients may see four doctors in one appointment. Two months into her role as EDC Program Coordinator, staffing needs changed, and she took over as the Clinical Coordinator/Medical Secretary for The Department of Thoracic Surgery. Her role is one that affects patients, doctors, and other healthcare workers.
Her previous position was that of a CST (Certified Surgical Technologist) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, but injury and the restrictions following back surgery have prevented her from continuing in that field. Her education, experiences, medical knowledge, and determination put her in the right place to continue to help others.
Her responsibilities include handling scheduling surgeries, clinic appointments, diagnostic testing, obtaining all medical records and imaging for all patients who may or may not be exclusively UC Health patients. Once the information is obtained, the surgeons can effectively evaluate patients and provide treatment plans before the doctor sees the patients during their clinic appointments. She also sends referrals to other departments if the need arises and is responsible for following up on any referrals she sends to other specialties.
When she receives a referral for the Thoracic Surgery Department, Megan is expected to contact the patient within 24-48 hours of receiving the referral so she can schedule the patient for an appointment as soon as possible. She must understand the needs of the patients and coordinate with those who schedule tests that must be done before surgery.
Her job is stressful on a daily basis, but during this pandemic, the requirements from the CDC and all the extra testing make each step even more challenging. When she enters the building to get to her clinic, she has had to stop at three different checkpoints for temperature checks and questioning. Megan wears the masks, shields, and all the protective gear. She meets those patients coming into the clinic for appointments and procedures as well as working with the staff. Because she works in Thoracic Surgery, many patients of hers are already immuno-compromised and she has probably been exposed to more COVID-19 positive patients than she realizes.
Changes and emerging protocols put in place by the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health, and Governor Mike Dewine disrupt the organized daily flow, forcing the surgeons and staff to rearrange clinic hours, surgeries, testing, and many other issues and she must help adapt quickly and resolve conflicts as she helps coordinate with the operating theaters and use of specialized equipment. Before patients have surgery, they must have a COVID-19 negative test result 72 hours before surgery. There are also certain diagnostic tests that require a COVID – 19 negative test result before the patient can safely complete the exam.
Clinic hours have changed for many providers so that patients can maintain a 6-feet distance from other patients in the waiting room. Patients are screened before they come to any appointments, must wear a mask, have their temperature taken, and are not allowed to have anyone accompany them to an appointment unless special circumstances warrant a caregiver be present.
Megan Meadors shares her knowledge with her family and friends. She advises us of the dangers and of our responsibilities. I am proud of her working in the hospital and clinics. She has compassion and ethics as she deals with COVID-19 issues daily.
— Janet Hendricks