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If you are a healthcare provider who works directly with patients who have been admitted to the hospital or a long-term care facility for other reasons, but have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, you’ve seen how some patients are dealing with isolation and loneliness due to COVID-19 restrictions. They are living under trying and stressful conditions as healthcare providers take steps to protect patients, as well as themselves, from contracting the COVID-19 virus. Here are some ways to lift patient spirits and keep them from becoming depressed as everyone tries to deal with COVID-19 restrictions.
Here are five things that you can do to help patients feel less isolated:
1. If you know your patient’s family members and friends, and they visit the patient regularly in the hospital, remind the patient of something good about a family member or friend, such as mentioning how talented a grandson is at playing football, or how much a friend likes orchids. These positive memories remind the patient of life and love, and put their emotions back into a place of connection rather than separation.
2. Encourage patients to reach out more to their loved ones by making phone calls and writing letters to family members and friends. As the world has changed, people have become more open to connecting through different ways. Suggesting that the patient write a letter to family members and friends can improve the patient’s state of mind and overall well-being, and help them feel less lonely and isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Take the time to call one of the patient’s family members or friends to let them know what’s going on. When you reach out to other family members and friends on the patient’s behalf, the patient feels less isolated and more connected as they try to deal with the health challenges that surround the era of COVID-19.
4. Whenever possible, encourage patients to talk to other patients or get involved with social activities that are sanctioned by the healthcare facility. Any social engagement can help patients feel more involved and less isolated.
5. For patients who are bedridden and can’t move around much, give them an uplifting novel to read, or a craft or creative activity that they can do right from their beds, such as making a card or adult coloring.
There are many ways to lift each patient’s spirits. Sometimes they just need to hear about something other than their internal thoughts. The more we talk to them, smile, and make them laugh, the better they’ll feel.
There have been dramatic changes to the medical landscape since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. One of the most significant changes that practitioners have experienced is an increase in flexibility in administering telehealth patient services.
In telehealth appointments, you connect remotely with a provider to seek diagnosis, treatment, or monitoring of your health concerns. Telehealth is best applied in situations where you’re seeking follow-up monitoring on a pre-existing condition, or your symptoms aren’t emergent.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Telehealth
Like anything, using telehealth for patient care comes with pros and cons.
Advantages of using telehealth include things like:
Decreased risk for exposure to unrelated illnesses like COVID-19.
Disadvantages consist of factors such as:
No physical exams performed.
Risks for delayed care.
Connectivity issues for patient or provider.
How to Schedule a Telehealth Appointment with Your Doctor
Telehealth appointments are generally booked by submitting a request through your provider’s patient portal or calling a medical office directly. Often, you’ll be required to complete some form of screening assessment related to your symptoms to determine whether a telehealth appointment will provide you with the necessary level of care needed for the condition in question.
What Patients and Providers Say About Telehealth
Although it may seem like telehealth would make medicine feel less personal, a study by Massachusetts General Hospital found that 62% of patients surveyed reported that telehealth visits were as positive as in-person visits, and 21% said they were better than traditional appointments. Clinicians also reported higher efficiency, and more than half agreed that appointments were comparable to those conducted in-person.
Temporary measures were put in place to extend telehealth access to more people during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, but many medical leaders are pushing for long-term changes. As the healthcare environment continues to adapt, the need for trained medical professionals — both clinical and non-clinical — will only increase.
Sharing an office can be challenging under normal circumstances. Your coworker may leave the desk a mess, adjust the chair without putting it back, and constantly walk off with your favorite pens. Working during COVID-19 presents a new problem: how can you safely share a desk when you don’t know if your coworker is taking proper precautions? Here are three tips for protecting yourself in a shared office space, especially if you work a different shift, and you share a desk with another coworker who works an earlier shift.
1. Keep Your Office Space Sanitized
Get into the habit of wiping down your desk, chair, computer keyboard, and other surfaces with Clorox wipes or disinfecting spray as soon as you arrive at work and before you head home at the end of your shift. These cleaning products will kill the vast majority of potential germs in your office space, which can significantly lower your fear of contracting COVID-19 at work. If you know your building’s custodian or the coworker you share your desk with well and trust them, you might consider working out a cleaning schedule to share responsibilities, but it’s usually a good idea to handle it yourself so that you know it was done right.
2. Purify Your Air to Reduce the Spread of Germs
Because little is known about how long COVID-19 can live in the air, investing in a small air purifier can provide an extra layer of protection from viruses, especially if your shift begins immediately after your coworker’s. HEPA filtration is capable of blocking nearly all particles that are the size of the COVID-19 virus.
3. Bring Your Own Office Supplies
Rather than trying to sanitize every pen, marker, and stapler in your desk, now is a good time to avoid sharing office supplies altogether. Consider storing a small bag of inexpensive personal supplies in your briefcase or purse to reduce the number of items you have to touch that may be harder to clean than larger surfaces.
Sharing a desk doesn’t have to be unsanitary. Follow the Avidity Medical Design blog for more tips for managing COVID-19 risk.
Consider making the most of your free time by enrolling in one of our courses. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy for more information on the following courses:
Are you thinking of working in the medical field? Is the challenge of going to medical school too daunting? Here are five unique medical jobs where you can help people and earn a good living.
1. Dance Therapy
Movement therapy facilitates the mind and body connection and is beneficial in treating a variety of disorders including autism, post-traumatic stress disorders, eating disorders, and Parkinson’s disease.
If you love dance and want to help people, pursuing dance therapy is an excellent choice for you. The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) offers a graduate program in this field. You get to work in a variety of settings including mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and hospitals. The average salary is about $40,000. You can learn all about this career here.
2. Clinical Ethicist
Healthcare workers face ethical dilemmas every day in their practice. If you are in the field of medicine, nursing, law, philosophy, or social science, you can expand your role as a clinical ethicist and provide expertise in this role, too. The salary range is between $40,000 to $150,000 depending on the level of responsibility you take.
3. Medical Filmmakers and Illustrators
Bring your technical talent in illustrating or creating film to help teach difficult medical concepts and procedures. As a medical illustrator or animator your salary range is impressive, starting at $62,000 and peaking at $175,000 with a supervisory role. You can freelance this as a side gig as well.
4. Cardiac Perfusionist
You might have started out pursuing biology as a pre-med career but decided that you do not want to move forward with it. Consider doing a certification in clinical cardiac perfusion, a job where you assist surgeons during open-heart surgery. You will need to complete 150 hours as a trainee before passing a certification exam offered by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. The salary range is between $60,000 to $100,000.
5. Hospital Cleaner
Your job is fundamental in keeping the hospital clean and infection-free. The hospital can lose major funding as well as its patrons if it is not able to keep up with hygiene and safety standards. The pay range is $30,000 to $40,000, depending on years of experience.
If you plan to travel on July 4th, and you will be traveling by car, chances are, you may have a long drive ahead of you. The drive can seem even longer if you have kids who may be likely to get car sick, especially when traveling at long distances. Car sickness, also called motion sickness or travel sickness, is an illness caused by motion during travel. Movies make us think of projectile vomiting and absolute disasters, but car sickness is far more common than that; nearly every person will experience a mild form of motion sickness at some point. Unfortunately, the movies did get one thing correct—children tend to be more susceptible to car sickness than anyone else. Luckily, there are 10 easy things you can do to keep your kids from getting car sick, or resolve it if it happens during your trip.
1. SIT YOUR KIDS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEAT.
Kids should always be in proper car seats, but for those prone to car sickness, center them in the middle seat. A clear view through the windshield helps them keep from getting dizzy during the trip.
2. GIVE YOUR KIDS RAW GINGER.
Raw ginger is a great homeopathic remedy to be taken if your little ones start to feel ill during the trip. Soothing the stomach without resorting to over-the-counter medicine, raw ginger is perfect for car sickness.
3. GIVE YOUR KIDS MINT LEAVES TO CHEW ON.
Thought to have soothing properties, mint can also help with stomachaches. Mint leaves are fun for kids to chew on, and it also helps cool the inside of the mouth. Mint leaves can be chewed continuously, before the trip begins until a few minutes before you arrive at your destination.
4. TRY DRAMAMINE.
Some kids need a little more to help fight back the nausea of car sickness. You can buy Dramamine over the counter and use it to prevent car sickness or use it as a remedy during car sickness. It can last anywhere from 4-6 hours.
5. PLAN PRE-TRIP MEALS WELL.
Plan the meals that you eat before you begin your trip. Avoiding greasy and spicy foods can help keep the stomach settled and can help keep the trip from going off track.
6. REDUCE YOUR KIDS’ SENSORY INPUT.
Focusing on a book or tablet while in the car can end up making kids dizzy. Dizziness and vertigo (while symptoms themselves) can lead to nausea and vomiting; even though the quiet is good in the short term, listening to audiobooks and music over the stereo is a safer alternative.
7. CIRCULATE FRESH AIR IN THE CAR.
The breeze in your hair, the smell of fresh cut grass… and also a perfect way to prevent car sickness. Removing stale air from the car helps decrease the likelihood that your kids may become nauseous during the trip.
8. GET YOUR KIDS TO TAKE A NAP DURING THE TRIP.
Napping has so many benefits: the peace and quiet, the easy drive, and the lack of car sickness. If you can get your kids to nap (and they will if they take Dramamine), they’ll likely wake up feeling refreshed and without stomach problems.
9. TEACH YOUR KIDS TO RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF CAR SICKNESS.
Better to overreact than under react; having your kids know the signs of motion sickness can help to prevent problems before they start. Even if they start out feeling alright, hours in a car can make even the toughest stomachs feel queasy. Having everyone know the signs can create treatment instead of cleanup.
10. PACK THE BRAT DIET AND INCLUDE HYDRATION.
Hours in a car plus no easy rest stops equals an empty and upset stomach. Packing snacks such as the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast), other bland foods (saltines or crackers), and plenty of water can ease a queasy stomach.
Family trips should be enjoyed—without a car sick mess. To stay up to date on the latest news in healthcare, and for more helpful tips you can use everyday, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To learn even more about healthcare, enroll in a course offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy, and get a 50% discount on select courses.
In this time of COVID-19, you will be seeing a number of changes when you go to your doctor’s office. Here are some changes that you will see so that you can be prepared and confident about your upcoming appointment.
Telemedicine options – When you make your appointment, you may be offered the option of doing a visit from your home. This could be a phone call or a video call. Think about whether a remote visit could work for your situation.
Reminder calls – Many offices are using the reminder call to get an updated status on your health. They may ask if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or the flu. This will help them to prepare for your visit if you are concerned about exposure to the virus.
Signs at the entrance – Look for communication about prevention practices happening at your doctor’s office (wearing a mask, social distancing, etc.) and follow the requests. Staff may also be at the entrance and may take your temperature or ask about your current symptoms.
Waiting room supplies – Extra disinfecting supplies and trash cans will be available. Make use of supplies if you need them. Extra cleaning for magazines, toys, etc will be taking place, but be proactive when you use these items. Clean the item when you are finished using them with the supplied wipes, etc.
Limit non-patient visitors – Only people who are part of the appointment should be in the office. This will minimize the number of people gathering in the medical facility.
Providing separation for patients with symptoms – If a patient is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, the staff will provide a prompt placement in a private room.
The exam room – After each patient visit, the facility will use EPA-registered disinfectant on the counters, seating, and exam table. Be assured that your health is protected at this point as well. Go ahead and have a candid conversation with your doctor about your medical concerns as you would at any visit.
After-visit summary – Take home any information that the doctor provides at the end of your visit. These first visits during COVID-19 can be stressful, and this paperwork will help to remind you of what you discussed, course of treatment, and the necessary follow up for you.
These changes are new for all of us, so don’t worry if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed at your next doctor’s visit. The staff is there to assist you and answer any questions that you may have. So speak up if you need some help, and don’t be shy about bringing questions that you have thought about in advance. This will ensure that you are making the most of your visit, and taking the proper precautions to stay safe.
To stay up to date on the latest information on COVID-19, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. We have several upcoming articles that deal specifically with COVID-19 in the healthcare industry. If you are interested in learning more about different areas of healthcare, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy. If you are interested in enrolling in our healthcare courses, you can view our courses here. Our courses are in a self-paced online format, so this is a great time to take that step for your career.