As part of the schoolwide coordinated effort to bring students and teachers back to campus, Casey Reynolds joined the CG Team on February 22 as our new Health Coordinator. She is administering COVID-19 tests and other health services from the school’s new Health Hub in the Barn lower level.
A native of the Pacific Northwest, Casey has a degree in Applied Science and training as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She comes to Catlin Gabel from a position at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Washington, where she worked as a nurse technician in both the medical oncology and COVID units.
In these interview excerpts, Casey talks about her commitment to the health care profession and her new role at Catlin Gabel:
What was it like to work at Overlake Hospital early in the pandemic, when the Seattle area was one of the global hotspots?
It was very up and down. We were basically just waiting every day for new updates on how we should handle things differently—and different testing practices. We were constantly looking for ways to improve. It was very interesting time.
What drew you to a profession that is often demanding and intense?
I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a teenager. And when I got this nurse tech position, I loved it—it was exactly what I wanted to do. So when COVID hit, it wasn't really a question of if I wanted to do it or not, because I definitely did. I was ready to just kind of buckle up and hold on tight for the ride. It was really great to see everyone come together, and it fueled our drive to work hard and help everyone.
What appeals to you about bringing your skills and training to a school community?
As the Health Coordinator, I get to meet a lot of different people and I see them often. It's nice to build those relationships and have some familiar faces. I'm just really happy to be here and I'm excited to start helping out Catlin Gabel.
What is your approach to working with very young children – or reluctant adults?
I've spent time in the ER when I worked at the hospital, so I’ve worked with people of all ages. I think honesty's the best policy. Just be friendly and kind, explain to them what's going on and hopefully I can help them get through that tough time.
What is the process for getting tested at Catlin Gabel? How long does it take?
Well, it's only about a five-second swab in each nostril. It just goes in maybe half an inch and it's a quick and easy process. Once you fill out one sheet of paperwork, the testing takes about 20 seconds from the time I open the swab to when I'm capping the test tube. So it should be a quick process. I want it to be that way for everyone who gets tested.
Are people surprised by how easy and quick it is to be tested?
They sure are. I've had people who are relieved that it's not as invasive as they thought it would be. I've had people even say that they would come back. A lot of people have said it tickled.