The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to make changes to their daily lives in order to do their part in flattening the curve.
This is no different for former University of Georgia soccer player Natalie Goodman who now works as an EMT in the Emergency Room at St. Joseph’s Hospital in her hometown of Savannah.
She has seen first-hand how this pandemic has brought out the best in people.
“This pandemic is interesting because at times people can be so focused on themselves and what they’re doing in their lives,” Goodman said. “But having everyone go through something together like this gives a greater perspective and makes people think ‘what is this person going through right now, how can I be more patient, and loving and caring, knowing that they are going through something as traumatic as I am right now’. It’s been cool to see how everyone has come together and have tried to pick other people up during this time. It hasn’t been easy and everyone is going through the same thing.”
Goodman says that seeing the worst of the worst through the pandemic can strike some fear, but she has been used to a “team mentality” after playing soccer for most of her life and has transferred those skills to the Emergency Room now, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am grateful for the people that I work with because everyone has a team mentality and everyone is willing to help people,” Goodman continued. “If someone sees that the stress of working through the pandemic is getting a co-worker down, they are always trying to help out, cheer them up or take some of the patient load off of somebody- ‘I’ll go run and do this for you so that you can take a breather’. We are all working as hard as we can at all times and the cool thing about the ER is that you never know what’s about to come in. You could be in a patient’s room and all of the sudden you have two cardiac arrests coming in. You have to rely on your team to pick you up and cover what you can’t cover.”
Like with sports, this pandemic is something you can’t get through alone. Goodman has relied on her co-workers, family and friends for support.
“We keep the spirits high laughing and telling jokes,” she said. “ The hard part is that I think everyone is on edge, especially our patients. We try to keep a positive atmosphere in there because it’s definitely a tough place to work at times, but you can’t let the negative take over.”
“It’s very cool that now people are so appreciative of those of us that work in health care,” Goodman continued. “Usually patients come in and they can be mean or demanding, but now that people don’t want to be in this situation they are being more respectful and more grateful for those of us that are here to take care of them.”
Having that team mentality and being a Bulldog has prepared Goodman for a time such as this.
“My time at UGA taught me how to persevere and push through the hard things,” Goodman said. “There are always positives that can be taken from difficult situations. I had injuries (during my soccer career) and I was frustrated and I had to find different ways to contribute to the team even when I wasn’t in the thick of it. Everyone out there is a part of a team and doing their part by staying home and not exposing others. We in the hospital are doing our part by staying positive and staying away from those who aren’t exposed to it every day. I think the team mentality has translated into the healthcare field.”