Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Lowcountry doctors face fast-paced changes in pandemic

ByLive 5 Web Staff | March 30, 2020 at 7:15 AM EDT - Updated March 30 at 7:15 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Healthcare workers who are on the front lines of the novel coronavirus pandemic say they're trying to balance work and family amid fast-paced changes in how they treat patients.

Dr. Robert Olivero is the chief medical officer of ambulatory care and population health at Roper St. Francis. The husband and father of two says he tries to keep things as normal as possible at home while almost everything at work has changed.

Everything in every office and room of the hospital seems different, he says.

"Virtual care was essentially virtually nonexistent," Oliverio says. "Now were doing virtual care in nearly every venue."

Between every patient and every drive-up swab tests he performs, he now changes almost everything he's wearing.

"You have to use a face shield that protects the mask because masks are in short supply, I have to use a gown to keep virus particles from touching my clothes," he says. "And I have to wear gloves, and I have to do that all the time."

Before going home every day Oliverio says he doesn't take any chances.

"I make sure that I don't bring what's here, there," he says. "You've got to change the clothes, you've got to take a good shower."

He says his children know about the pandemic he's helping treat.

"They know what I do. They ask questions about it," he says. "We talk a little bit about it, but we don't dwell on it."

Their dad is fighting in what many are calling a war against an invisible enemy.

"It's wonderful to be able to help the community," Oliverio says. "My wife asks me if I'm nervous. And I'm not really nervous. I'm just concerned that if we don't do the right thing, things can get out of control."

Oliverio emphasizes the importance of washing your hands. He says fighting the virus is not rocket science; We all just have to do our part.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Photo: Live 5 News

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