Safety is obviously a major objective for a Coronavirus Era clinic visit:
After going to several doctor’s appointments the past few weeks, I thought you may be interested hearing about how it all went and what to expect these days. This is such an unusual time so full of anxiety and curiosity how to safely take care of business, our health. For those of us with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), our healthcare is always on the front burner!
Aiming to get my appointments out of the way before the beautiful, warm weather arrives, I proceed to schedule appointments now when the clinic is starting to see nonemergency cases again.
Being a healthcare worker myself, I know the clinics are doing their best to carefully screen for potential infections and exposures. That is a comfort to me to know how serious everyone is working to stay safe.
Here is how I observed safety measures during my Coronavirus Era clinic visit:
First line of defense are questions. The healthcare team asks if you have had any Covid-19 symptoms or been in contact with someone known or suspected of having the virus. This questioning happens when you make the appointment, as you enter the facility, and again when you get to your provider’s office.
Second line of defense may be a nose swab test. Some procedures and surgeries will require an actual Covid-19 test, which has been described as momentarily, extremely uncomfortable. (Someone said it feels like wire to the brain-Yikes!)
Third line of defense is limiting access to the facility. Only the patient can gain access to the facility unless help is necessary. I was given a sticker to indicate screening was done and all could see that.
My friend’s clinic requires her to call when she arrives at the clinic, then stay in her car in the parking lot until her provider is able to see her. Then she goes through the screening process at the door to gain access to the building.
Forth line of defense is hand sanitizer. Sanitizing your hands to help prevent contamination by inadvertent touching.
Fifth line of defense is wearing a face mask. Everyone wears a mask. The healthcare team and patients. At the clinic I go to, the providers also wear goggles.
A sense of safety and care is necessary at a Coronavirus Era clinic visit:
As I live through this tricky time from both a pharmacist and patient perspective, the kindness, care and deep concern the healthcare providers exude has been nothing short of brave and heartwarming. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has guidelines for healthcare facilities to follow. It was clear to me the clinic is going above and beyond these measures!
I appreciate how professional they are and the sweet sense of humor they maintain. No wonder I chose the healthcare field, I work with the best!
The main reason I want to share my experience is to encourage you with knowing healthcare teams are doing their best to care for you safely.
Another option is telemedicine or even a phone call with your healthcare provider. Some things are best taken care of before they progress!
Wishing you health and safety from Arthritis Wisdom!