Kyndra GardnerKyndra Gardner is a “true unsung hero,” according to Dr. Chris Doern, director of clinical microbiology. As a pathology technician in our Microbiology Laboratory, she helps run the front end of the lab while also managing most of the specimens that the lab receives for testing. She recently shared some of her thoughts about what it’s like to be in the lab during COVID-19.

What is a day on the job like since the pandemic began?

A day on the job has been pretty steady as far as work volume, but pretty busy learning all of the new test and changes every day. Also answering all of the phone calls.

What has been most different from "normal" days in the hospital?

I would have to say our work volume has been the most different, and not seeing a lot of people roaming the hospital.

What remains the same?

The amount of phone calls remains the same.

What has been most difficult for you personally during the pandemic (work or personal life)?

I would say the most difficult thing work-related has been keeping up with the different changes every day and handling the COVID specimens as they come in. Personally, it’s been very hard not traveling to see my sister and nephews who live in North Carolina.

Have you seen any moments of hope or kindness in the hospital that you would like to share?

Yes, I’ve seen a lot of kindness shown ever since the pandemic started. The appreciation and love that has been shared is absolutely mind-blowing and heartwarming. Seeing our name (Micro) written on walls and the simple thank you from everyone is so encouraging.

What are you doing to take care of your well-being during the pandemic?

I’m doing everything from eating to exercising to stay sane. I love to cook but never really had enough time to do it, so finding new recipes has been my new hobby.

What do you most look forward to doing when the pandemic ends?

I’m soooo looking forward to a vacation and just being able to have family/friends gathering.

Would you like to share any words of encouragement for your fellow team members?

Hang in there. You are doing a great thing, and your hard work isn’t going unnoticed. I’m proud to be part of the Micro team and I encourage you to stick with it and don’t give up! This too shall pass.