East Portland Pediatrics looks and functions a bit differently these days. We are sure there are more adaptations to come, but we wanted to give you all a glimpse into how things are working here in response to COVID-19.
The first thing you’ll notice is a completely empty waiting room. In order to maximize social distancing we are asking our scheduled patients to call us from the car when they arrive, then we direct them to come in and go straight to a room. Not stopping to check in or check out keeps everyone safer!
Not only is the waiting room empty of people, it’s been emptied of books, magazines, and toys. It was painful removing the books, but you are welcome to bring your own books and toys with you. The sticker and tattoo baskets were the first to go. But don’t worry… we can still hand you a sticker!
While we are seeing some patients in their cars, we are directing most sick patients to Suite 32, our adolescent clinic. For those appointments, we meet you at the side doors by the stairs and have you put on a mask before entering the building. Then it’s straight down the hall to the Teen Clinic and into a room. In order to limit staff contact to infectious diseases, only the doctor enters the room. Be patient with us as we figure out how to do all the things our wonderful Medical Assistants usually do!
We have curtained off the hallway to maintain droplet precautions, and have set up a temporary clinical area for clean equipment and a lab. When indicated we follow strict respiratory droplet contact precautions (eye shield, mask, gloves and gown), and have put up donning and doffing instructions to make sure we don’t miss any steps.
We are cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! Cleaning surfaces, doorknobs, and even pens and clipboards. You can see clipboards drying after being cleaned, and we are using tissues to handle doorknobs.
While these have been a stressful couple of weeks for everyone, I am humbled and amazed by this amazing team of professionals I work with. From writing positive notes to each other (my favorite is “EPPC is the only place I have been in the last week where everyone still has a smile on their face… keep smiling everyone!”) to the “See a Need, Fill a Need” poster, we are truly taking care of our EPPC family. We are including mindfulness and gratitude in our daily Scatters (a huddle, but standing far apart!) and finding other ways to manage stress. We are definitely staying EPPC strong!