No one seems to be talking about this but as healthcare workers we are really more of a threat to others, our patients, than they are to us. Healthcare workers are the ones out and about, exposed to the virus.
We need to be thinking of taking care of ourselves (always put the oxygen mask on first) BUT be aware of the risk we present to those we are hired to care for.
How can we protect our patients, and often their elderly caregivers, from us? Masks, hand washing, gowns certainly; but it is hard to distance when you need to touch and examine SO—-
Can you first explain to families and patients how you are going to protect them. “I’m am going to forgo touching as much as possible. We don’t really need to take your blood pressure right now and let’s keep a 6 foot distance. I will do my best to keep you safe. There will be more phone calls. We will keep in close contact but I may be visiting less”.
With office staffing and work challenges growing daily what about having your hospice volunteers calling (from their homes) a set of patients. Touch in with the families, “What’s happening? Do you need anything?” Use the same volunteer for each family to develop confidence and bonding. You are saving your staff while providing a sense of security to your families.
For those of you that use Gone From My Sight. On the phone say "Let’s get the “blue book” out. Where do you think John is today? What page?” Then talk about it. A lot of family education can be done via the phone.
Educate, reassure, support during this challenging time.