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Change is in the Air

“PARdon Me” – a blog series by Laura Duke, CPNP, IBCLC

PARdon me…. but have you noticed that change is in the air?  Spring is here.  The trees are in full color, bulbs are blooming and things are coming to life.  Our world is bathed in impossible shades of green. 

We are also experiencing far more than a change of season.  It seems as if our whole world is undergoing transformation.  Schools and businesses are closed.  Things we have taken for granted, like toilet paper, of all things, are hard to find.  We are spending lots….and lots….and lots… and lots of quality time with our loved ones – a mixed blessing.  No one could have predicted the extent to which COVID-19 could bring change to so many aspects of our lives.

It has brought change to PAR as well.  We have had to adjust our hours to meet the change in patient needs.  We have moved our well visits to the Bell Creek and Short Pump locations and have kept our Three Chopt office ready for sick visits.  We have initiated telephone check in at all three locations to limit or eliminate time in the waiting room.  We have asked families to send one parent and no siblings to visits to support social distancing.  Every day we look for ways we can make our service to families safer, stronger, better. 

There is no denying it, change is stressful.  Here at PAR, it has brought out the best in our families and team.  Families are rising to the occasion.  Many are calling in for advice and self-triaging before coming to see us under the circumstances.  They are switching offices and providers with very few complaints.  I cannot count the number of times I have overheard a parent ask about our well being or encourage us to be safe.  Our team is meeting the challenges on all fronts.   Nicole Midulla, our reception and scheduling manager, with help from her team, quickly and without complaint accomplished the herculean task of moving appointments and locations on short notice.  Our office staff are seamlessly adjusting to the change in flow while maintaining their pleasant demeanor on the phone.  Our nurses continue to provide conscientious care while adjusting to seemingly daily changes in schedules and procedures.  Our providers are continually looking for ways to improve care while supporting each other.  We cannot avoid change but we can control how we respond to it.

Recently, many of us participated in a virtual meeting of pediatric inpatient and primary care providers in the Richmond area to discuss COVID-19 best practices and recommended standards of care.  I came away from that meeting impressed that our practice, led by our COVID-19 response team (Ashley Sullivan, MD and Jenna Ornelas, RN), is ahead of the curve in following those practices. 

Wayne W. Dyer says “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”  It is easy to immerse ourselves in the barrage of news and information out there and become completely overwhelmed.  This blog is an attempt to help families manage that.  We had thought that each week we would share with you a new study or information on COVID-19 but soon realized that things are changing on a daily basis.  Instead we want to use this blog as an ongoing opportunity to address an aspect of our new normal and refer you to simple no nonsense resources.  This week, I encourage you to check out the AAP’s (American Academy of Pediatrics’) website HealthyChildren.org under 2019 novel Coronovirus (COVID-19).  It is regularly updated and contains information on the virus, how to care for your family, as well as how to deal with the social and emotional consequences of sheltering in.

We are here for you.  Please reach out if there is information you need or a topic you would like covered in a future blog.  In the meantime,  PARdon me……….

Laura Duke, CPNP, IBCLC