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Healthcare workers rising to meet extraordinary situation

Jason Stuart Locke, RN, has lived in McMinnville his entire life and has worked for Ascension Saint Thomas for 17 years. For the past year, he’s served as Emergency Services Manager for Saint Thomas River Park Hospital.

Q: Healthcare workers are being called “unsung heroes” by many. How does that make you feel?

A:  I feel I am no more deserving than any other healthcare professional putting their well-being and safety on the line daily. We will do what needs to be done to serve our people and our community. Throughout history, there are times when each profession gets the opportunity to leave its mark and make a real difference for the people they serve. This is our time.  

Q: How are you protecting yourself?

A:  As the situation evolves and we learn more each day about the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, it’s important to maintain a sense of daily structure. Building healthy habits. Simple things. The things we all hear over and over. Handwashing, safe distance, wearing a mask, etc. 

In addition, I start each day at work educating myself on changes and updates related to the pandemic and what our organization is doing to combat it. I then relay that information to my staff. The majority of my time now is spent with my front-line team in an effort to provide comfort and security. Supporting our team on the front line has never been more important.

Q: Do you feel like your team is making a difference?

A:  As healthcare workers, I feel we are all doing our part. Each of us has a unique role in the fight against this pandemic. It’s amazing to see people rise to the situation at hand. 

Every day I come to work and see the people around me pulling together as a family, as a united front, in preparation for what’s coming. In my 17 years working in emergency medicine, I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s truly a blessing to be a part of the healing hand in our community in a time of crisis.

Q: Are you worried?

A: Yes, this is an uncertain time for all of us. But I am grateful to work for a faith-based organization that stands behind me, an organization that’s founded on the word of God. Serving is where we find our strength and it can resolve our worries. 

I have never been more impressed by our administration and leadership team that is working tirelessly to provide encouragement and support to the frontline staff.   

Q: What is the main message you want the public to know/ understand during this time?

A: That we are HERE. Here to serve, to comfort, and here to heal. We all chose this profession because we care deeply for people, their health, and wellbeing. 

Unfortunately, we don’t have all the answers. But, we are willing to sacrifice whatever is needed to see this through for our community. We are ready for the challenge.