A health manager says the stress a pandemic puts on medical centres and the panic in the community are the biggest tests of her career.
A health manager says the stress a pandemic puts on medical centres and the panic in the community are the biggest tests of her career.

‘I just cried:’ Health worker clocks up 63 days straight

A BRISBANE health care worker has shared the stressful experience of working 63 days straight during a global pandemic.

Jo Harden is the practice manager of three medical centres in Wynnum, Buranda and Oxley and believes battling through the current climate was the biggest test of her career.

Although her centres don't test for COVID-19, the 52-year-old Browns Plains resident said the panic in the community when the coronavirus first struck was incredible.

"It was just pure panic," Ms Harden said.

"People just tried to pack in to the centres and we were flooded with phone calls with people thinking they had the coronavirus because they were showing flu-like symptoms.

Wynnum Plaza Medical Centre practice manager Jo Harden. Picture: Richard Walker
Wynnum Plaza Medical Centre practice manager Jo Harden. Picture: Richard Walker

"That was one of the toughest things to deal with was everyone wanted to get tested and they didn't understand that not everyone could be tested.

"The hardest thing above all was probably just the unknown in the first few weeks, at that time we didn't have much information.

 

"There was one day where I just cried because I was scared, scared for my workers, friends and family.

"Luckily after a few weeks, everything started to settle down."

Ms Harden said working so many days straight was stressful but it was something she needed to do and she wouldn't think twice about doing it again.

Wynnum Plaza Medical Centre practice manager Jo Harden said was incredibly stressful working 63 days straight during COVID-19. Picture: Richard Walker
Wynnum Plaza Medical Centre practice manager Jo Harden said was incredibly stressful working 63 days straight during COVID-19. Picture: Richard Walker

"You don't even really think about it, I worked out a lot which got me through it," she said.

"I just wanted to make sure my doctors and staff were looked after, that our medical centres were still running and people had jobs.

"But on top of that, I wanted to make sure that we could still serve our community as well. That we could help people through this but also attend to people who needed general medical care.

"I think it's important for people to realise that general practices are front line health care as well, people talk about the hospitals and they do an amazing job, but centres like ours have played an important role through out this as well."

Ms Harden, along with eight other health care workers, were treated to a special lunch with Australian country music legend Adam Brand last Friday as a reward for their efforts.

Originally published as 'I just cried:' Health care worker clocked up 63 days straight


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