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I think the interesting thing about health care is we’re kind of always expecting what might be unexpected, I guess you could say. And so, learning how to transition, in this case with a pandemic, we established our protocols, and that offers a level of protection and confidence for us in how we interact with our clients.
We feel very confident in our use of PPE. We are confident in our disinfectant practices to ensure that we’re keeping ourselves safe —and also that we’re keeping our clients safe, and also making sure that we are staying up to date week by week with any changes, so that we know how to shift. If something new should come up, if there’s a new recommendation from the CDC, we are making sure to stay up to date, in that sense. And so, we’re following our protocols, and there’s always a level of uncertainty, but as long as we’re educating ourselves and our clients, we feel pretty confident in the work that we’re doing.
For the younger kids, we can make COVID education more into like a fun game. We have these really beautiful handmade masks that have Disney characters and other cartoon characters that the children love, and so we place it on them. I think it helps too, that they see us wearing our masks — so, it’s less unfamiliar. They feel a little bit more comfortable because we’re all wearing masks. So that has been actually pretty easy, surprisingly, for the younger kids.
We have other adolescents who are just adolescents. And we have to do a little more with educating them and encouraging them as to why it is important to wear their mask and wash their hands. And again, I think setting an example has been the best with children. If they see us doing it — and if we do it with them — if we give them some hand sanitizer but we use it ourselves, they’re very open and receptive to that. And the parents are on board, as well. So that absolutely helps.
So, with the pandemic and with the additional loss of employment, we are seeing more stress with our clients. I think they still feel confident that their health care needs will be met because we are a no-cost low-barrier access to health care. But they do still have concerns about, what does this mean for their families? How will they provide food? That’s always important—how will they provide clothing? So that’s always a concern that we are trying to address as best we can and just letting them know that their health care needs are taken care of at CAPN Clinic and any additional resources that we can provide, we will do our best give them those resources.
Jordan R. Murphy, PhD, RNDirector of OperationsCommunity Advanced Practice Nurses, Inc.Atlanta, GA