Photo: Dr. Allen Barton, EM physician resident, with his children Hayla, Emily, Micah and Luke
Childcare is a top priority for any parent, especially important during times of crisis and uncertainty. With the COVID-19 pandemic, working parents are finding themselves with less stability due to widespread school closures, illness or alterations in normal work habits. The question of finding safe and reliable care for their children can present additional work-life challenges.
As emergency physicians, we are on the front line, caring for patients and collaborating to find better solutions for responding in the growing crisis. For us, finding childcare is especially important as we are asked to work more to support our community, patients, and one another. With the closing of schools and the necessity to practice social distancing, it can be hard to feel secure in knowing that our children will be safe and healthy when we are called to work. Dr. Ashley Satorius shares her thoughts during this COVID pandemic as new mom and dual EM physician couple:
“With us both being emergency medicine physicians, life got even busier very quickly. Having to ramp up at work, getting a barrage of emails, and trying to stay up to date on the latest guidelines makes it seem like an endless day. We try to leave work at work, but it is tough. Worrying about getting sick and passing it onto our daughter is at the back of our minds. Thankfully our daughter is at a very sweet stage and makes us smile and laugh all the time. She brings us back to center and allows us to remember what we’re fighting for.”
At Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine, we recognize the sacrifice our parent physicians and healthcare workers are making—and we acknowledge the impact that it has on their childcare needs. While the current COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, there are solutions available that may help solve disruptions in normal childcare routines. Pulling together to support one another is what we do best, as demonstrated by the residents and faculty who created a babysitting exchange to expand their childcare network. IU Health has partnered with Early Learning Indiana to provide “School’s Out Camp & Child Care” to team members at three locations. Additional options include websites like Care.com, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Childcare Finder, and Families First. Care.com is an IU employee benefit offering back-up child care as well as other dependent care resources for seniors, home, and pets. Your local communities may also provide childcare alternatives through churches, businesses, and community Facebook pages. And don’t hesitate to lean into your healthcare colleagues as they may be facing similar challenges, allowing you to form creative solutions like taking turns watching children while you work or rest. This has the added benefit of staying engaged with other working parents with shared experiences.
As always, we applaud our EM physicians and parents on the front lines for their tireless dedication and sacrifice during these unprecedented times. Let’s celebrate one another.
Dr. Ashley Satorius and Dr. Matt Rutz, dual IUEM physician faculty, with their daughter Raegan
Dr. Jillian Murphy, IUEM physician faculty, with her daughter Chloe Rose
Dr. Brian O’Neill, EM/Peds physician resident, with his son Conner
Dr. Will Martin, EM/Peds physician resident, with his wife Krista, and son, Peter
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Emmy Schram is the Communications Coordinator for the Department of Emergency Medicine. She earned her MA in English from Ball State where she taught English Composition while working as a freelance graphic/web designer. She brings with her varied professional experiences which she uses to support departmental communications efforts while finding new ways to combine her passions for marketing and education.