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June 8, 2020 - In addition to his positive attitude and warm smile, Darryl Braxton is known for putting the health and safety of patients above all else when performing his job in environmental services at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.
Never has that focus been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Braxton was already a valued member of the environmental services team when he was promoted to a lead position at the beginning of March. He jumped right in, not only immersing himself in his new duties as a lead, but also skillfully navigating the ever-changing unknowns regarding COVID-19.
Every time BJC updated a safety policy, or the Incident Command Center provided new COVID-19 information, Braxton championed it and made sure his team understood the changes and how they increased both team member safety and patient safety.
“When this pandemic happened, a lot of my co-workers were a little apprehensive about doing certain facets of their jobs because they just didn’t feel safe or they were scared,” Braxton says. “I’m a lead in the BJC environmental services department so, when an employee felt uncomfortable or afraid to go into a room of a patient who had tested positive for the virus, I would suit up in my personal protective equipment (PPE) gear and go in and clean with them to assure them that it was safe and that all of the necessary precautions had been taken to ensure our safety and our patients’ safety.”
Braxton’s extra attention to his co-workers’ concerns and the additional guidance he provided made a difference.
“I found that after doing this, it brought a sense of comfort to my co-workers and it wasn’t long before they felt comfortable enough to go into those rooms and clean them on their own,” he says. “I’ve tried to keep a very positive attitude during this pandemic and I’ve tried to instill that same positive attitude in my co-workers.”
Braxton says that positive attitude, along with teamwork and faith, help him and his co-workers to continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic together as they work hard and follow all necessary procedures to keep patients safe.
“I’m thankful for all of the resources and information that is provided to us by BJC and how we all have come together in this time of crisis,” he says. “I know we have a long road to travel before we get back to where we’re 100%, but we must keep the faith and keep believing that we will get through this.”
Over the past several weeks, community members have done their part to fight the virus by staying home and putting safety first for themselves and their families and neighbors. Braxton and the rest of the environmental services team members are grateful for that — and they promise to continue putting patients’ health and safety first as BJC’s hospitals begin to resume more health care services.
“I believe we will be victorious,” Braxton adds.
BJC HealthCare and Washington University Physicians have taken many precautions to keep patients, visitors and team members safe while visiting our facilities. Learn more at https://www.bjc.org/keepingyousafe