Returning to “normal”

Mark Scheurer, M.D., and Andrew Atz, M.D.
April 20, 2022
Dr Mark Scheurer and Dr. Andy Atz
(Left to Right) Mark Scheurer, M.D., and Andrew Atz, M.D.

Dear friend,

Welcome spring, welcome cars covered in dayglow green pollen and welcome back to celebrating many reasons why we love our city and state!

We want to share that after two plus challenging years, the MUSC Health system recently returned to normal operations. Returning to pre-COVID protocols means:

  • Families and visitors are welcome in all patient areas, including 24/7 inpatient visitation.
  • No COVID-19 testing before surgery.
  • Symptom screening at hospital main entrances is no longer required. Additional entries will reopen in the coming weeks.
  • Masks are optional in non-clinical areas such as the cafeteria and other public spaces.

“Return to normal” is a much-anticipated state; however, “normal” is framed by what we all experienced together over the last years. The pandemic left an indelible mark on most of us: our patient families said goodbye to loved ones from afar, families were isolated or separated and arguably, our children may feel the long-term effects for years. Our care team members experienced tremendous stress and uncertainty, long hours and strained resources. We suspect no one wants to live through another pandemic and the upheaval of our “normal” lives.

We also suspect that “return to normal” undoubtedly means forging a “new” normal. MUSC Health leadership created a survey for community members, patients, families, our patient advisory councils, and care team members in light of questions about what normal should mean. That survey explored expectations and comfort levels with receiving health care in clinical environments. The responders’ feedback helped MUSC Health create protocols and policies that respect our diverse patient populations and allow us to proceed into a new normal successfully. We thank those who helped us craft MUSC Health’s new normal.

With our “new normal,” we also have opportunities to rechart our course, revisit true priorities and refocus on our collective mission. What remains constant is our core mission to serve you, our community. That “normal” gives us an indelible anchor point and the resolve to move forward.

Mark Scheurer, M.D., and Andrew Atz, M.D.
MUSC Children’s Health