Safe and Sound: Recognizing unsung heroes at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

Safe and Sound: Unsung Heroes: Phoebe Housekeepers

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -There are so many people fighting on the front lines to control the spread of COVID-19, but one group is often overlooked.

Patient ambassador Shanetwa Smith and Shift supervisor Kathryn Rector work for Environmental Services at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Environmental Services, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
Environmental Services, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (Source: Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital)

They make sure the rooms are clean and safe not only for the patients, but also for the staff.

“I always think about this could be one of my family members, and I don’t want them to be in a room that’s not been sanitized,” Rector said.

“We want to make sure our patients understand that we’re here to serve them, to assure safety, and to let them know that they’re in good hands,” Smith said.

When COVID-19 took over the city they were there to help prevent any further spread of the virus, but these ladies were there to answer the call.

“We go in, strip the rooms, then we go in and fog the rooms. Once we fog the room, then the housekeeper will go in and do a bleach terminal clean, " Rector said.

Rector says they fog the room with a peroxide solution.

Fog machine, Environmental Services, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
Fog machine, Environmental Services, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (Source: Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital)

It usually takes about an hour and a half From start to finish.

These women and their coworkers do a job a lot of people wouldn’t want to do. But they suit up every day for you and me making sure the rooms are 100% clean from top to bottom.

Fog machine, Environmental Services, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
Fog machine, Environmental Services, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (Source: Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital)

While some don’t realize how important they are, others are calling them heroes!

“It makes me feel good to know people think we’re heroes. Environmental Services is not recognized, because we’re behind the scenes, people don’t really think we fight we’re on the front lines but we actually are because without us, the room would not get clean like they’re supposed to, " Rector said.

Phoebe CEO Scott Steiner says its time to sing their praises.

Phoebe Putney Health System CEO and President, Scott Steiner.
Phoebe Putney Health System CEO and President, Scott Steiner. (Source: WALB)

“You know, it takes the whole Phoebe family to do what we need to do for our community and, and these two great women are just a part of an incredible team that we have in environmental services that that does what has to be done for our patients, and our community and we couldn’t have gotten through this without them, and their hard work,” Steiner said.

Smith has been with Phoebe for three years, and Rector has been there for 11 years.

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