Luz RiveraClinical coordinatorIthaca Free ClinicIthaca, New York
My name is Luz Rivera. I’m the clinical coordinator for the Ithaca Free Clinic.
I did love this training. It gave me more tools and more ideas on how to basically implement what I was already doing, but it just gave me a broader view of things and other ways that I can approach things with a patient.
I do still have patients that are reluctant about leaving their homes, which I feel a lot of the training does help me be able to talk to them and just sort of listen, be able to listen mostly. What tends to happen [is] that most of them want to come in and talk to me about how they’re feeling [and] their concerns. They have more fears than they did before.
“A lot of our population have medical conditions and they don’t have health insurance. So, they have that fear: What if I get sick? What’s going to happen to my family? Who’s going to take care of me?”
It [this training] helped them [staff] to be able to understand the patients and what they’re going through — and their fears. And I believe that was my purpose because I believe no matter who walks in through the door, [they’re] going to be affected by COVID, whether it be personal or somebody they knew or just their own personal fears.
A lot of our population do have medical conditions and they honestly don’t have even, they don’t have health insurance. So, they have that fear: What if I get sick? What if you don’t [know] what’s going to happen to me, what’s going to happen to my family? Or who’s going to take care of me? I do have individuals who actually have no family members, that have no one.
I have one patient that has been very reluctant about getting a vaccine. She’s been concerned because she does have other health issues, and she’s been concerned that the vaccine is going to actually make things worse for her. I have talked to her on several occasions, and I’ve told her, “You know, look, you see me sitting here talking to you, I’m a diabetic and I have asthma, and I have severe allergies, and I have both shots and I’ve been doing fine. I’m talking to her on several occasions that way, and just explaining to her that she is in that category where she is in a vulnerable situation, her health issues can easily affect her if she gets sick. And I was able to sort of go through her worries and fears and she ended up getting the first shot week.