Already mourning the deaths of seven people, the Résidence des Bâtisseurs in Baie-Saint-Paul is still grappling with an outbreak, plunging staff into a race against time to limit the devastation of the virus.
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Since October 23, the residence, which houses nearly 180 residents, has been at the heart of an outbreak that has disrupted the habits of both employees and residents.
“It’s really a shock because we have been holding on for several months, we are putting all the measures in place and we say to ourselves that this cannot happen to us”, drops Kristel Louboutin, vice-president of sales, marketing and communications at the residence.
After an epidemiological investigation, the affected site was quickly taken care of by a “mission” team, which is made up of 12 people and sent by the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale (CIUSSS-CN).
The members of this team have very specific expertise and the objective of this deployment is to quickly set up specific procedures to continue operating while limiting the risk of contamination as much as possible.
“Emerging environments are living environments which quickly become care environments. It requires a lot of adjustments, ”adds Marlène Chevanel, Deputy Director of Continuous Quality Improvement at the CIUSSS-CN.
The presence of this team brings enormous comfort, argues Mr.me Louboutin. However, she too agrees that her arrival brings its share of challenges. “Yes, it’s reassuring, but at the same time, it’s worrying for our teams. We work in a “well-established” environment. Our residents are used to routines and we have to turn everything upside down. ”
These include the repeated disinfection of “high touch” places, the disinfection of rooms, controlled circulation between the different areas, the absence of contaminated employees, the unusual presence of work teams and the addition of meetings to the daily.
A human challenge
There is the professional challenge, but also the human one. “The biggest challenge is emotion. We work with residents who have families. We know them by name, they are like our grandparents ”, continues Mme Louboutin.
She describes the residents as very patient and extremely resilient and considers the employees to be very dedicated. For the moment, the residence still has 12 active cases, for 38 recovered.
And even if there is a little light at the end of the tunnel, one trivial mistake can ruin several weeks’ work. “We must not let our guard down, that’s the challenge. And when people are exhausted by the situation, that’s where it could happen, ”observes M.me Chevanel.