DAYTON — Angela Stahl is used to wrapping ankles and wrists to help keep athletes safe.
But the Bellbrook High School athletic trainer has been donning personal protection equipment of her own lately as she is one of several Premier Health athletic trainers to be working at the coronavirus testing site in the University of Dayton Arena parking lot.
With sports on hold due to the state-wide closure of schools and stay at home order, Premier had a plethora of athletic trainers suddenly available and suddenly needed.
“The hospital is kind of on high alert for the demands of personnel,” Stahl said shortly after finishing a shift at the testing site earlier this week. “Our entire profession within Premier that had to find something to do.”
Stahl and nine other athletic trainers were relocated to the arena site to help check in patients there for testing. They obtain insurance information, input information into the computer system and “get them where they need to go,” Stahl said.
The process can be very tense as Stahl and her co-workers are dealing with patients wanting to find out if they have the contagious and potentially fatal COVID-19. But she said all has been smooth during registration.
“Generally everybody is appreciative of us being there, there being a testing site available,” Stahl said. “Initially there was not a testing site. The very first day that we opened we had quite a few people come in. We do have people that are scared. I just had one. All we can really do for them is try to keep them calm and let them know they’ll be taken care of.”
Despite the limited interaction, she and the other athletic trainers are taking all the necessary precautions because of how easily the virus is transmitted socially.
“We’ve got gloves and masks and glass shields that we’re wearing,” Stahl said. “There’s always the risk, be it on the job site or not. I’ve just got to take it in stride.”
The 10 athletic trainers also rotate amongst each other to keep exposure at a minimum, Stahl said.
Even though she’s around people who could potentially have the virus, Stahl — in her eighth year at Bellbrook — is enjoying her temporary assignment.
“I can’t complain,” she said. “The people that I’m working with are fantastic. It’s definitely a team effort. Everybody knows what they’re doing.”
Premier Health Marketing Coordinator Cheryl Woodward agrees with Stahl’s assessment.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Woodward said. “Collaboration among different types of staff that don’t typically work together. Everybody has jumped in to do what’s needed. The team out there is doing a remarkable job.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.