All the personal protective equipment (PPE) health care professionals are wearing is enough to cause any adult to pause. But, imagine how a young child might respond.
“Our nurse had on all of her protective gear but still tried to make my baby comfortable by using a caring tone and explaining what she was doing,” Stephanie Honn says.
Honn recently took her 7-month-old son to a pediatrics appointment to get a routine booster shot at her UnityPoint Clinic.
“I was really nervous about this appointment. My family had been really good about limiting our exposure. It was literally the second time for us going somewhere public in the past several months.”
She admits coronavirus has caused her a lot of anxiety, but she knew the importance of keeping up with vaccinations.
“With all of this going on with COVID-19, I wanted to protect him as much as possible from anything and everything I could. That way, if he gets sick, his immune system would be as strong as possible now and in the future. The flu doesn't stop just because of COVID-19, neither do the other diseases like measles, smallpox or whooping cough,” Honn says.
Making the decision to go was the first step. Mustering up the nerve the day of the appointment was another. Then, something happened the night before the appointment to help calm Honn’s nerves.
“I received a text message about the new appointment procedure the night before and then a reminder about an hour before the appointment. This immediately put me at ease,” she says.
It’s called a virtual waiting room. You don’t even need to sign up for the process. It’s simply part of normally scheduled visits at most UnityPoint Clinic locations.
“I texted when I arrived, and they called me back to finish the check-in process over the phone. They told me I would receive a text when my exam room was ready, and a nurse would meet me at the door to take me back to the exam room. So, once I got the text, I was able to get my baby out of the car, put on my mask, and then enter the building.”
She says she immediately noticed other safety changes – all team members were wearing masks and nurses were wearing face shields and gloves, and there were clear barriers at the check-in window. Team members are also taking extra time between patients to thoroughly clean rooms, using the exact wipes known to fight the virus.
“I have anxiety about COVID-19, which has heightened my anxiety about going out into public places, especially where sick people visit. But with the new process at the clinic, I felt like I didn't have to worry about being exposed. Everyone was obviously taking as many precautions as possible and that's all we can do. I felt safer going to the clinic than I would going to the grocery store or Target right now, to be honest!” Honn says.
Don't let COVID-19 stop you from taking care of yourself. Routine exams or vaccinations are important for both children and adults to keep their health on point. Our clinics are clean and our staff is taking all the necessary precautions to prioritize your safety.