Aley (Rella) Della Terza, MSDA Class of 2006, is a Nursing Supervisor - RN, BSN, at Summit Medical Group (SMG). In the days before COVID19, Aley’s workday was filled with routine patient care in a multi-specialty office setting. Her job consists of managing clinical staff and patient care in the Primary Care and Specialty departments. Her responsibilities included administering vaccines, performing blood pressure checks, managing prescriptions, managing nurse and medical assistant schedules, and maintaining a calm floor.
Since the onset of COVID19, Aley said her main goal at work is to maintain a calm, positive office environment. “The stress and anxiety the patients and the SMG team are experiencing is indescribable. When COVID hit, the primary care world was turned upside-down. It started with an overwhelming number of triage calls from patients wanting to come into the office, who presented with possible COVID symptoms. So many patients were scared of the unknown, staff was scared as well, and everyone seemed to be in a panic. No one knew if these patients truly had COVID or if they were sick with the flu or what was going to happen.” Aley notes that what her office is seeing a great deal of now are previously positive COVID19 patients who are coming into the office to see their doctor for a follow up. And, all patients want the COVID19 antibody testing. One of Aley’s current responsibilities is supervising and working the COVID19 antibody-testing clinic.
When asked about what she’s been experiencing and feeling as a healthcare provider in the days of a global pandemic, Aley shared, “I have two young children, a four-year old son and a two-year old daughter. I am also 5 months pregnant with my third child. Fear has been a main underlying emotion throughout this entire experience. When I decided to become a nurse, I knew it was because I wanted to help people. I wanted to be there for people during their happiest and saddest times, and provide the best possible care for patients and their families. When I started hearing and seeing all the fear from these patients, I wanted to help them in any way that I could, but I also had fear of bringing the virus home to my family. The internal struggle was difficult, but when I was at work I put my nurse hat on, and when I came home I would put my mom hat on (after thoroughly disinfecting and showering!). The satisfaction of knowing that my patients were well cared for and my family was safe has motivated me to get through this pandemic.”
When asked what else she may want to share with the community, Aley remarked on her time at the Mount, “Thank you ladies, from the bottom of my heart. My experiences at MSDA, both the good and the bad (let's admit it, I wasn't the easiest student to manage, lol), have taught me how to be a better person, a caring nurse, and a great mom.” We can learn a lot from you, too, Aley – doing everything you can to provide the best care for your patients suffering through deep fears, while persevering through your own to care for yourself and your family. Thank you for your service to the community!