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UNSUNG HEROES: RMC staff uses tech to combat spread of germs and viruses
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UNSUNG HEROES: RMC staff uses tech to combat spread of germs and viruses

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During the worldwide health crisis, fighting off any transfer of infections and cross-contamination from the COVID-19 virus has been crucial.

The Environmental Services Department of the Regional Medical Center has taken the disinfection process to the microscopic level to ensure their staff and patients are well taken care of.

With the use of TRU-D, or the Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfector, the team has worked to make RMC a clean and sterile working environment to slow the spread of the virus and protect front-line caregivers.

Tru-D is a UVC light machine that enhances the terminal cleaning of patient-care areas.

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In 2011, the Regional Medical Center became the first hospital in South Carolina to acquire the use of TRU-D technology.

Tru-D is used on a regular and proactive basis in the surgical suites and in rooms upon discharge of patients who had infections of resistant organisms.

Joselito Tabora, director of environmental services, said surface disinfection is a priority at RMC since germs and viruses can live anywhere.

“After completion of a terminal cleaning of a patient room, Tru-D is brought in to disinfect at the microscopic level using ultraviolet technology,” Tabora said.

He said staff members have taken it upon themselves to ensure teamwork is maintained.

“They understand they all have to work together and to keep each other safe by following cleaning protocols,” Tabora said.

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Joann Raglin, an environmental service tech who has worked at RMC for eight years, said her passion is being able to take care of people.

“I am very dedicated to making sure each room I enter in the Emergency Department is cleaned properly and safely,” Raglin said. “Due to COVID-19, I sometimes see anxiety in our patients. I look at my role as being able to help ease those concerns.”

“When people see clean rooms, they feel better,” she said.

Doris Fields, environmental services lead tech and an 18-year employee at RMC, said she loves taking care of the community.

“Because I am from here, I feel like I’m always taking care of extended family members,” Fields said. “A clean hospital is the first thing people notice when they walk in the doors.”

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Fields takes pride in making sure the rooms are thoroughly cleaned.

“We’ve added extra measures to assure we are cleaning rooms safely and timely due to COVID-19,” she said. “All EVS staff wear masks and wear other PPE required materials to make sure each room is safe for the next patient.”

The biggest hurdle to overcome at the onset of the virus was the sudden unavailability of needed cleaning chemicals and PPEs.

“Fortunately for us, we saw the threat early and immediately bumped up our orders for supplies to eliminate depleting what we have and continue our ability to clean the environment,” Tabora said.

The staff has felt pride in helping the Orangeburg community and combating the virus head-on.

Tabora said they have felt their importance knowing their contribution to maintaining a safe environment helps keep this virus at the minimum.

“I want everyone to feel welcomed,” Raglin said. “Our first impression is our best impression.”

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