Hurricane Ian Update

For Friday, Sept. 30:
UNC Physician Network clinics, The Clinic at Walmart and UNC Health Same Day Clinic at Brisson Drugs, are closed.
UNC Health Southeastern Fitness Centers in Lumberton and Pembroke will close at 6 p.m.

Published on March 18, 2020

Athletic Trainers step up to screen visitors

Lumberton resident Bobbi Hedgpeth, left, answers questions from Athletic Trainer Brendon Jonsson on Tuesday, March 17, as part of the new visitor screening process which began on March 14 at Southeastern Regional Medical Center.

With schools closed and high school athletics on hold across the state, Southeastern Health’s five athletic trainers have pivoted to a new temporary role as guest screeners at Southeastern Regional Medical Center (SRMC). Following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all visitors to the hospital are now being screened for potential risks of transmitting coronavirus.

“Since we have these skilled employees available, even though it’s a nontraditional role for them, we knew they could be utilized,” said SeHealth Director of Specialty Clinics Raymond Henley, who also oversees the athletic trainer program. “In response to the heightened concerns for the public, the hospital implemented a stricter visitation policy and they needed personnel to man that, so we pivoted to get the trainers involved.”

The five trainers are now working shifts to cover the screening area near the front desk in the hospital lobby, screening all visitors before they approach the desk for a visitor’s badge. Under the health system’s latest visitation policy, all visitors to SeHealth affiliates will be screened for travel history and symptoms before being allowed to enter patient care areas.

At SRMC, only two visitors, age 18 and over with valid ID, are allowed per patient in the main hospital from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Emergency department patients are allowed one visitor, age 18 and over with valid ID. Other recent visitation changes within the SeHealth system include a limit of one visitor per patient in exam rooms at all SeHealth clinics and no visitation at WoodHaven Nursing, Alzheimer's and Rehabilitation Center.

“Based on CDC guidelines and recommendations, we need to make sure the guests who are visiting our campus are in no way putting our employees and patients at risk,” said SeHealth Guest Services Director Alisia Oxendine. “We are thankful the trainers are available to assist us in providing compassionate care by ensuring we have appropriate safety measures in place to create a healthy and safe environment. Knowing who is visiting our campus with regards to their travel history and that they are not in any way experiencing the symptoms that the CDC has advised that we look out for, we are much more confident that we are able to decrease the spread of this disease.”