Skip to main content
Teri Ashworth Healthcare Worker

Healthcare Worker Shares Thoughts on the Pandemic

Lately, the Coronavirus has appeared to be unstoppable. Thousands of new cases arise every week and new variants emerge which take the world by storm. Recently, the Omicron variant seems to have affected almost everyone in some way. Many people are concerned for their own safety, hoping their family and friends don’t get sick. But some people tend to forget about one of the key factors in this equation, healthcare workers. Teri Ashworth is a speech-language pathologist at Newton Medical Center. She is experiencing, firsthand, what it is like working in the hospital with the rampage of the coronavirus persisting.


Ashworth’s job on a normal day entails diagnosing for dysphagia which is when a patient is having trouble swallowing. This can be caused by a stroke, COVID, etc. Therefore, the majority of her work is conducting swallowing evaluations. However, because of new Omicron cases, Ashworth has to do a little more than her own work. “Everyone is helping each other out. Even though I’m a speech therapist, I’m doing other things to help the nurses.” She brushes patients’ teeth and helps some get ready for the day. She can regularly be found doing more than her own work even with her very busy schedule. 


When working in the hospital it is important for the doctors and nurses to stay safe and not get sick, even if it requires them to wear a lot of equipment.“I wear scrubs, a lab coat, an N-95, a surgical mask over the N-95, a shield over that, and then a cap over my hair.” A lot of material is worn to protect the doctors and nurses from Covid and other illnesses. For some, it can be hard to breathe because, again, it is a lot of material on your face. But this is beside the point for Ashworth because she has two kids at home and does anything to not get them sick. One is in 9th grade, Taylor, and another is in 6th, Contessa. “One of my biggest fears while working in the medical field at this time is that I might get my kids sick.”


Taylor and Contessa feel so proud of their hardworking mother. “I wrote a poem about my mom working in the hospital for a project in school,” Taylor states, “I got 100 on the project and it even made my teacher cry.” 


The hospital that Ashworth works in has also changed since the pandemic, not structure-wise but emotionally. “I still enjoy my work even though Covid is going on, but before COVID, there was a more positive culture and environment. There is not as much laughter, it is sadder.” From her perspective, there is not much morale either and the workers are found to be burnt out because they are doing so much work. 


Teri Ashworth is a hard worker and COVID did not stop her at all. Even with all the setbacks, it has brought forth she persists to have a positive mindset throughout this chaos. She is strong for her family and tries to help out all those who are in need in the hospital. Thanks to her fellow workers and herself, they are keeping the world better protected one day at a time.