Tina AndersonTina Anderson, MT(ASCP)
Safety, Education, Compliance Coordinator

What role have you played in COVID-19 preparations? What are some of the successes and challenges you have faced?

I have been very involved in creating instructional material to guide Pathology team members on safe handling of specimens, PPE guidance, FAQs and cleaning guidance. I created a Pathology COVID-19 Intranet page as a resource for team members to find updated information. In collaboration with many Pathology team members, we’ve worked with the COVID Command Center and Hospital Infection Prevention to create specimen collection and laboratory testing job aides. This is vital to ensure tests are ordered correctly and specimens for COVID-19 are collected and transported to the laboratory properly.

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

Every day at work is now COVID-19 centric. Guidance changes almost daily. It has become important that we act quickly to communicate changes to our teams and adapt to our changing environment.

What do you think will be the lasting impact of COVID-19 on your work, the health system, and healthcare as a whole?

I think COVID-19 will be here for a long time. As we learn more about this virus and the disease, we’ll have to continue to implement new testing schedules and strategies within the laboratory. COVID-19 has pushed VCU Health to develop and implement Telehealth and virtual visits which has had a very positive outcome for certain patient populations. I foresee this type of healthcare to expand.

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

Yes! With so much emphasis placed on the necessity of COVID-19 testing, laboratorians are the ROCK STARS of this pandemic. The gratitude expressed by hospital leadership for all of the laboratory’s hard work and accomplishments is phenomenal. The messages of thankfulness in the parking decks and throughout the facility is also very motivating. Local restaurants have also been very supportive by providing lunches.

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

I’ve always liked playing in the mud...my hobbies are pottery and gardening. Both provide a creative outlet and are very therapeutic for me. Recently, I had a pottery mug sale fundraiser with all proceeds going to Feed More and the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund. So far, I’ve raised over eight hundred dollars. After experiencing the generosity of our community, I am excited to be able to 'pay it forward' with donations to these organizations that are assisting so many affected by this pandemic.

What do you most look forward to doing when the pandemic ends, personally and professionally?

Professionally, I look forward to getting back to projects that I have not yet completed!
Personally, my daughter is a high school senior who missed out on some significant senior year memories this spring. She begins her freshman year at Virginia Tech this fall. Although it’s bittersweet to see her grow-up and move out of the house, I hope to give her a grand send-off party and watch her begin this new exciting time in her life.