It started out with doing assessments in patient cars in order to limit exposure and accommodate our need for additional personal protective equipment (PPE). Then, we decided to pilot a drive-thru test site. For me, I’m comfortable working at a drive-thru test site because I’m younger, I don’t have children and there is less risk if I contract the disease. More importantly, it would be a disservice not to help the people who come to these test sites. It is definitely a priority to screen our patients and educate them about the disease. We get a lot of phone calls from patients who don’t know much about the virus or how it’s spread, and these are people who are still going to work. They don’t have the option of staying home or working from home, because their jobs are their livelihood and their jobs are essential. When I talk to many patients I’ve come to realize that their employers are failing to educate them about the virus. That gap is where we step in at NEVHC to educate and empower people in the face of this pandemic. That’s why we now have drive-thru clinics. At these clinics, we are able to safely check for symptoms and perform the test for coronavirus without exposing staff and patients. During this process, we check heartrate, oxygen saturation and temperature. We had one woman who wasn’t symptomatic, but her oxygen saturation was low. Her whole family tested positive for coronavirus. If we hadn’t screened her, we wouldn’t have been able to send that woman to get the appropriate care. This is why I keep coming to work. Our patients and community members need somewhere to go and receive care and guidance during this challenging time. I’m proud to be able to use my medical license and help people in need.
Nicole, Physician Assistant
NEVHC is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n) with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.