Courage and Resilience Witnessed at the Front Desk
For the past year, Doctors Care’s Volunteer Manager, Jana Baker, has served as the front desk greeter, a position typically held by a volunteer. Since most volunteers have chosen to stay safer at home during COVID-19, Jana “volunteered” to step in to fill this critical function at Doctors Care. Recently, we asked Jana to give us a glimpse into her experience at the front desk during the pandemic. Here is what she had to say:
In one fell swoop last March, our patients went from being greeted by smiling, devoted long-time volunteers to an unfamiliar person – me. Standing behind a plexiglass wall while donning a mask and visor, with warning signs all around, I took temperatures, screened everyone for potential COVID exposures, and served as a traffic controller, directing patients into the most socially distant waiting room. I had the privilege to observe our patients and clients adapting to our new reality with courage, humor, and resilience in those dark first few months of the pandemic. I have been continually impressed by:
- Patients recognizing their stress and asking for mental wellness help.
- Parents of newborns braving a vaccine appointment without their partner
- Older adults who are new to technology, eagerly learning to engage with providers during telehealth appointments
- Those who recently lost their health insurance successfully navigating the new world of Medicaid
- Very young children dutifully wearing a mask (batman and unicorn ones are my favorite,) while having their temperature taken upon arrival
- Stressed out moms bringing in their kids and still laughing when I tell them they are cooler than their teenager – by temperature that is
- Many patients thanking us and wishing us safe and well as they leave the clinic
It has been a wild 12 months, but we could not be more proud of our wonderful patients and clients who have met the challenge of taking care of their healthcare needs amid a pandemic. It goes without saying how impressed we are with all our staff, rising to the challenge that is COVID-19. We are genuinely grateful for Jana, our receptionists, medical assistants, volunteer providers, and the few volunteers who have willingly placed our patients’ and clients’ health needs before their own.