Brenda Plesuk is skilled at asking the right questions at the right time. She uses this skill every day as a social worker, but the importance of it has increased due to COVID-19.
When she asked the right questions about re-admitting a resident to the Souris Valley Care Center in Velva, North Dakota, where she works, Plesuk saved the center from the coronavirus.
Administrator Kaylene Kitelinger wants to lift up Plesuk’s important act of using facts over fear.
“She kept the virus out of the building,” Kitelinger said.
For Plesuk, though, she says it’s business as usual and is something she practices with all hospital returns.
When Plesuk got the call from the hospital asking if the resident could return to the center, she started asking questions. When the discharge planner mentioned that the resident had a fever without a known cause, Plesuk was skeptical.
“How is the resident medically stable?” Plesuk asked.
Because of Plesuk’s quick thinking and questioning, the resident did not return to the center right away.
“The following week, we heard the hospital was going to test this resident for COVID-19,” Kitelinger said. “About 24 hours later, we got the call that she was positive.”
Plesuk, while worried about the patient, says she felt grateful that the resident hadn’t come back and potentially infected the other residents.
“I’ve just always been thorough in what I ask when the hospital is saying the resident is probably ready to come back because they’re not always really ready,” Plesuk said. “It’s nothing I wasn’t doing before COVID-19 became an issue; it just happened to work out in our advantage during a COVID situation.”
Plesuk used her knowledge of facts over fear in a time where it’s easy to let fear take over. Both Plesuk and Kitelinger say it’s important to ask questions instead of just assuming.
“We want to lift up the importance of asking questions,” Kitelinger said. “When you ask the questions and do the processes, we are able to catch this virus quickly.”