On the Front Lines of the Coronavirus Crisis
When she was in the Army, Jen Raichle, MHA ’21, was deployed to hotspots like Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Today she’s waging a whole new kind of battle against COVID-19 as an EMT for Fallon Ambulance Service. Working with Partners HealthCare, the company has implemented a new at-home testing system for coronavirus that’s deployed by emergency medical services.
Before this program, Raichle and her work partner might manage to transport four patients from their homes to testing centers, a process that would take up to 10 hours and increase the risk to themselves and other healthcare workers. Now they test each patient at home and transport the tests to the hospital. That means more tests per shift and less time needed to decontaminate the ambulance and resupply personal protective equipment.
“Once they came out with this program, I thought, ‘why isn’t everyone doing this?’” says Raichle. “There’s a whole new level of efficiency and safety for patients and crews.”
Between shifts, Raichle works on assignments for her Master’s in Healthcare Administration classes. The Boston Red Sox also recently hired her to help with security during home games, but the season has been delayed indefinitely.
“Going to a Sox game? To me that’s the most normal sounding thing I wish I could be doing right now,” says Raichle.
But during this time of pandemic, she’s honored to be a part of this new program, one of many medical innovations that COVID-19 is pushing to the forefront.
“I’m really excited to see the concept of community paramedicine being mobilized to make providers and community members safer,” she says. “This just seems so innovative to me.”