COVID Frontlines

Phyllis Kreischer ’93

By September 18, 2020 No Comments
Phyllis Kreischer '93

Nurse Practitioner — Auburn University… State Wellness Center

Montgomery, Ala.

 

How has your line of work been affected by COVID-19?

Our whole model at work has drastically changed. We are an acute care clinic for members with State Employees Insurance and we also provide many wellness initiatives. During the pandemic, we have put our wellness initiatives on hold to focus care on sick patients.

Can you describe the current situation in your workplace?

We have gone to reduced staffing in an effort to reduce exposure to Covid-19, and I am the only provider most days in the office on my rotation. We are working a week in the office and a week at home, Wednesday through Tuesday.

In an effort to keep the virus outside of our office building we have a large white tent set up outside to treat patients. We are doing this through all weather situations that are safe. So, in addition to treating patients outside, we often get asked a number of questions that normally would have been directed to our receptionist. As well as, many questions about Coronavirus.

What have the last few weeks been like, in your own words?

Some days are better than others, but overall not too bad. We are busy! We had just finished flu season, which is our busiest time of year, and we were all looking forward to a vacation when the virus hit. Vacations did not happen! Trying to juggle kids at home with remote learning and going to work and being the only provider made for long and frustrating days. Things are better, now, with school out. Auburn helped tremendously by adjusting our schedules to allow time to work from home.

How has your home or personal life been affected by the pandemic?

We have been blessed. My husband is a contractor and he has remained busy in spite of the pandemic. And, I am thankful to be in a profession that is always essential. The worst is that it is our daughter’s senior year. We lost so many traditions that we looked forward to for so many years. But, her future is bright and we look forward to her college graduation in 2024.

How did Auburn prepare you for your current role?

Auburn has a rigorous nursing program. For that I am thankful. As a student it did not always seem fair that nursing students have such a demanding schedule with coursework and clinicals. But, I graduated prepared. Auburn provides strong foundational skills and knowledge in nursing which grew over time as my career advanced. As an Auburn girl, I am defined by the Auburn Creed which has developed the tenacity necessary for my current role.

How do you stay positive during these difficult times?

Faith. I know that God is bigger than this virus. He is good and He has good in store for me and my family. Happiness is a choice and I choose to focus on the blessings and all the good in my life rather than the bad. I have turned off the news, and limited social media to limit the negativity that comes in.