Positive Connections: Wichita hospital worker volunteers to clean COVID rooms

Positive Connections

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita woman is being praised for her selflessness during the pandemic.

“She is positive, friendly and she just wants to do a good job,” said Jonathon Beisler, the director of Environmental Services at Ascension Via Christi in Wichita.

Sonia Barron started as a housekeeper at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in 2014. She was quickly promoted to a team lead and then a supervisor within the environmental services department.

“I like to take care of the patients,” said Barron.

Barron’s care for patients reached new heights when the pandemic began. At the time, the hospital was finalizing its cleaning plans, specifically in COVID-19 units.

“We actually had a meeting where I said I will be the first one going in there with you guys, I will shave my beard, I will put an N95 mask on and she (Barron) came to me and said, ‘that is not going to be necessary. I will take care of it,'” explained Beisler.

Barron volunteered to be the first one to learn and clean coronavirus patient’s rooms.

“She took five people with her. When we first had our first cases, they went in there and they started cleaning those rooms and we started training everybody else and as that expanded and we had more patients, unfortunately, she has been training all the housekeepers on how to do it,” Beisler said.

“We wipe everything. We wipe beds, toilets, walls. Everything, all in the room, we wipe down,” Barron said.

KSN asked Barron why she stepped up.

“I say well, God is with me. He always with me and I can do this,” she explained.

Beisler said it’s important to recognize the staff who goes beyond their duties especially during a trying time such as 2020.

“Housekeeping is one of the few departments, I think if you are in a hospital you couldn’t do without for more than a day. “We are frontline workers in that we are keeping the rooms clean, but we are also keeping the hallways clear, the areas fresh and neat, smelling good. Without that team, without those people who are dedicated to doing that on a daily basis, hospitals would be a lot different environments,” said Beisler.

Since March, Barron has cleaned hundreds of rooms. Gowning and masking up each time she enters and exits. She considers housekeeping her calling.

“I try to the best that I can,” she said.

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