Acute care clinic supervisor adds coronavirus triage to role

Meghan Gulmon has more duties because of COVID-19 but leads with a calm spirit

Meghan Gulmon wears a headset.

Nearly everything worldwide has changed because of COVID-19 — including Meghan Gulmon’s workflow.

The Sanford Health registered nurse in Bemidji, Minnesota, is normally an acute care weekend supervisor. She and her staff see more than 100 patients a day. A few weeks ago, on top of her normal duties, Gulmon was told she’d have to go through COVID-19 training and later train her weekend team.

COVID-19 crash course

Gulmon learned how to field calls, the guidelines for personal protective equipment and how to conduct the COVID-19 test.

She then had to teach those policies to her staff and train them, all while maintaining the day to day of an acute care clinic.

“No matter what, you have to go with the flow. Nursing is always changing. We might be thrown into different roles than what we normally do,” Gulmon said.

The acute care clinic had to take on these tasks because of alternate collection sites being closed over the weekend.

By the time a recent weekend was over, Gulmon had fielded more than 50 calls, tested two patients and dealt with a handful of lab results.

Staying calm amid coronavirus

The novel coronavirus added more responsibility but never took away what makes Gulmon so special: the way she leads with a calm, caring heart.

Her demeanor has translated to a calm team in the face of uncertainty.

Gulmon says her job is like that of a quarterback in football.

“My background in sports really helped me. In sports, you have to push through things you wouldn’t normally do. You have to push through a pain threshold. You have to have endurance.”

The three-year RN says her weekend team at the clinic feels like a sports team.

“You all work together, and when things work out well, it’s amazing. I couldn’t do this without such a great team. Everyone is a part of the team. From guest services to those on the floor, everyone plays a part,” Gulmon said.

Meghan Gulmon’s message

As someone on the front lines, Gulmon pleads for people to take the pandemic seriously.

“Our community is responding well, but we need to continue to take this seriously, on an individual and family level. There’s not a lot that we can do as far as what’s happening in the world, but it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re OK.

“Make sure someone has enough food. Look out for the elderly. Eat right and exercise. That can really help. Focus on yourself, so you can help other people.”

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Posted In Bemidji, Coronavirus, Faces of Sanford Health, Health Care Heroes

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