During this time of uncertainty, we wanted to express our gratitude to all the NPs and PAs who are working on the frontlines of this pandemic. We also want to thank those who have made the switch to telehealth to continue to provide care to COVID-19 and non-COVID patients with chronic conditions.
Clinical Advisor surveyed our readers on April 6 about how the novel coronavirus has affected practice. Here are some stories from the frontlines:
Throughout New York City, practitioners described controlled chaos. From a reader in the Bronx: “Everyone was caught short with inventories of equipment because of the large influx of patients the last couple of weeks. Our institution is in better shape now than 7 or 10 days ago.” From another reader in the Bronx: “We have suffered tremendous stress and fear as we see the reality of this on an hour-to-hour basis. Many of those who were in the front line will need mental health assistance once this calms down.” A Queens clinician noted that they had 3 patients “tested [for COVID-19] at the hospital who were given Z-pac [azithromycin] and Plaquenil [hydroxychloroquine] and sent home. I call and check on them daily. I know there are more cases because of daily calls with complaints. I advise my patients to stay at home, practice strict isolation, and maintain social distancing.”
The switch to telehealth has been easy for some and a challenge for others. A clinician from Georgia wrote, “It has been interesting making the switch from in-person patient visits to doing everything by telehealth. I think that the use of telehealth will remain relatively high even after the pandemic is over.” A clinician in New Mexico wrote, “There will be a need for clear guidelines for telehealth visits, especially in the area of pediatrics. There is quite a bit that can be learned from the VA and military about remote healthcare provision and limitations.” And then there’s this call from a clinician in Florida to enlist younger relatives to help their parents and grandparents adjust to telehealth: “Telemedicine is hell with a geriatric population who have no idea how to use a smart phone. I urge the media to encourage people to help their elders as my office is overwhelmed with helping patients.”
Although some practitioners are working overtime, others have seen their practices shuttered and their colleagues furloughed. All healthcare practitioners have been affected by this pandemic. On page 10, please read our interview with Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, and David E. Mittman, PA, DFAAPA, about moves the government has made to allow NPs and PAs to practice independently and across state lines to help with this crisis.
For more stories and data from the survey, click here.
We are here for you, to report your stories, to stay connected, and to continue to produce peer-reviewed articles that you have come to depend on. Please stay safe.
Director, Clinical Advisor