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When Allexus Halladay applied for a CareerWise apprenticeship during the spring of 2018, the job description didn’t say anything about being a “frontline essential worker” or “face mask required at all times.” Yet, as a hospital admissions representative at Grand Junction’s Community Hospital, Allexus has had to adapt to the harsh realities of COVID-19.
“What keeps me motivated is knowing that I am doing my part to help the community heal from this terrible pandemic that is still raging on,” Allexus says. “My favorite part of working in a hospital is being able to help patients in my own way. I love seeing their smiles. Just the thought of being able to help someone and make their day better, makes me feel so wholehearted inside.”
Working in healthcare has also helped Allexus get out of her comfort zone. She is witness to the precautions and safety measures that people have to take to be safe, as well as care for patients during a time of extreme necessity of cleanliness. “I have felt more pressure put onto myself, because I was a clean freak before — but now I am a clean freak for my patients. My patients are like family, and I want to protect them at all costs.”
Allexus sees the consequences that spread when COVID-19 isn’t taken seriously. “The thing that is difficult for me is not sharing my opinions on how important it is to wear a mask, stay home, and keep social distancing,” she says. “I believe that wearing a mask is not a political statement; it is a civic duty to keep our fellow Americans safe.”
She also noticed the difference between how other staff members and patients treat people in more administrative positions such as hers at the hospital. ”The nurses and doctors deserve all the recognition they are getting, but I am also right beside the patients getting tested for COVID-19 whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, I never know. I am handling their insurance cards and IDs. Throughout this crazy new norm we all live in, I am on the front lines fighting COVID.”
Along with many others, Allexus is a hero for her community. She plans on carrying out her dream in working in healthcare after her apprenticeship. Working at a hospital during a pandemic has taught her many useful skills that she can use and be knowledgeable in once taking on a full career in healthcare. With a wild year came a lot of adaptation, sacrifices, and hardship that many people had to face. Allexus is excited to be able to take what she’s gained in her experience to be able to continuously help her peers, patients, and those in her community.