LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – We’ve seen the stories of doctors and nurses and other frontline workers combating the pandemic for months now, but there are many “unsung heroes” who protect staff and patients behind the scenes.
Lilian Nelson has been working 17 years as an environmental services tech for MU Health Care in Columbia, Missouri.READ MORE: 'White Lives Matter' Protesters Rally At Huntington Beach Pier Along With Counter-Demonstrators
“I’m excited to be here every day,” she tells CBS affiliate KRCG.
While her job has always entailed attention to detail, it became even more crucial when the pandemic hit and the hospital created a COVID-19 floor.
“We use our cleaning supplies and then, later on, we have to use the bleach after that or we have the spray or we have to clean the wall, something like that or you know we have to do the general cleaning especially if [there are] discharges — but in the room, just the touching areas,” Nelson said.
Nelson is personally responsible for 18 rooms daily.
Not all superheroes wear capes. Some day in and day out layer themselves in surgical gowns, gloves and two masks. 🦸https://t.co/SQdnOQuTcg
— KRCG 13 (@KRCG13) January 20, 2021READ MORE: Hospitalizations For COVID-19 Fall Below 500 In LA County
“It’s so scary and I feel so nervous about it but we are in there to help [patients know] they are not alone,” she says.
The cleaning process goes beyond the patient rooms.
“The non-patient [rooms] like offices, cold rooms,” she says.
Although she’s not a nurse, Nelson says she enjoys patient interaction because currently, she’s some of the only family they have as no visitors are allowed.
“It’s really hard and it’s so sad,” she says. “Before I go inside, I ask them, ‘What do you need?’ And then if they will tell me that my wife just passed last week, or whatever, it really makes my heart broke.”
Nelson says she knows just how important it is to make COVID patients feel at home.MORE NEWS: Man Fatally Shot In Officer-Involved Shooting In San Fernando
“I give them comfort and then I say, ‘You know, you have to be strong, and you know you have to eat you, have to…’ you know, I have to give whatever they need because it’s just like it’s my family — nobody beside them,” Nelson said.