For Trervor Pham, working for the Veterans Health Administration is more than a career, it is a way to give back to America’s Veterans.
Pham has been a Registered Nurse for a year and a half, and currently works at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
Although Pham has not served in the military, he feels an intensely personal connection to those who have, particularly Veterans from the Vietnam War era.
“My parents are both Vietnamese, and without a military presence in Vietnam at that time, I wouldn’t be here today. I couldn’t be where I am today,” said Pham. “I’m a positive result of that (conflict), so this is my way to give back to Veterans that have done so much good for others.”
Several weeks ago, as the coronavirus pandemic began to sweep across the country, hospitals and medical centers began preparing for an influx of patients that would require specialized care.
Pham, along with more than a dozen of his co-workers, was one of the first to volunteer to work in the medical center’s negative-pressure isolation unit that was setup explicitly to handle patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or suspected of being positive.
The COVID team on 3B South has been training to get ready for such a time when a COVID-19 positive patient is admitted; donning and doffing personal protective equipment; and participating in specialized training and running “code” drills to ensure the staff can care for the patient while protecting themselves.
“We all volunteered. We are passionate about taking care of our veterans,” said Pham. “We felt it was the greater good to step up and do what we have to do.”
Pham and the rest of the staff suspect the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will continue into the summer and recognize the importance of taking care of themselves as they care for our Veterans.
“We’re doing what we can here to flatten the curve. It all comes down to self-care. We take advantage of our time off and maintaining our own health. Taking care of ourselves enables us to take care of others.
He went on to encourage everyone to do their part by continuing to practice social distancing; quarantining when necessary and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water.