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In what ways has COVID-19 affected everyday interactions with patients?


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Donna’s Answer

Due to the pandemic, many physicians and advanced practice providers (nurse practitioners, physicians assistants) have transitioned from traditional face-to-face office-based visits to telemedicine, in which visits are conducted via televisits/web based services. Now patients can wait in a “virtual waiting room” and then connect with a provider via their cell phone or computer video. Providers can continue to discuss health issues, review medications and health complaints, provide prescriptions, and educate patients through this medium. However, there are still limitations, as being able to listen to a patient’s heart or lungs, or evaluating swelling in their legs, can only be done efficiently through a traditional visit. It’s an exciting time for healthcare and the field of telemedicine, as we have started to shift to this type of platform for our care. It does not replace the face-to-face visit but it is a great way to continue to provide care and health education while keeping both patient and provider safe and #socialdistancing during the #covid19pandemic.

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Estelle’s Answer

Everyone in my office is required to wear a mask. We are not allowing visitors into the waiting area unless the patient needs assistance. Patients are asked to wait in their cars until the exam room is available, and then they are called straight back to the room. Actually, the office is quieter and more private this way. Patients seem to appreciate less foot traffic through the halls. I wash my hands before and after each patient, and I do it in the room so that they can see me practice hand washing hygiene. Doctors need to set the example for patients.

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Lisa’s Answer

I have a occ health and med/surg background, since it has been over 10 years, hospitals need experience within the last 2 years and many positions in occupational health are not prevalent due to companies shutdown.
I have, however worked in aesthetics for the past 19 years. Since it is elective, my clinic is in shutdown.

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Richard’s Answer

My hospital is taking appropriate precautions.

.Everyone wears a mask. If there is a procedure with a possible covid+ patient we also wear N95 under our regular mask.
.All non urgent procedures are postponed.
.Visitors are limited
.Each room with possible covid+ patient is decontaminated appropriately after the procedure.

However I am not in the ICU or ER. Those people are on the front lines and do take more risks.

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Aaron’s Answer

The interactions are definitely different and a lot more virtual now. The pandemic has accelerated a lot more innovation and trying out technology and approaches we would not have tried in the past. More telephonic outreaches, more proactive outreaches, and using more virtual/digital methods. I think it has potential made the conversations more empathetic (not that they were not in the first place) - but enhanced now conversations on specific needs now that resources and access is more limited.

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Rachel’s Answer

In addition to the implementation of telemed in many practices, COVID-19 has also changed in person interactions. I don't shake patients' hands. I give them an awkward elbow bump. I wear a mask that covers my face and hides a smile. While these changes are necessary, they have made it somewhat more difficult to interact with and develop a strong relationship with patients.

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