Resident Physician, Larkin Community Hospital – Palm Springs, Hialeah, Florida
“I never could have anticipated being on the front lines of a pandemic during my first year of residency. It has been a humbling experience. … In March, when COVID-19 began to spread here in South Florida, I was working in the Emergency Department. During this time, diagnosis of COVID-19 was challenging due to the lack of available tests nationwide. … As requirements for testing and medical management rapidly changed, we acted quickly and efficiently as a healthcare team. Protocols were put in place to ensure efficient triage of patients under suspicion of COVID-19 infection. Half of the Emergency Department was sealed off with a giant tarp for patients suspected of COVID-19. A makeshift tent was set up in the back of the hospital for patient screenings. It was extremely important to be mindful of contamination in efforts to prevent contracting and spreading the virus. These cautious efforts were in place for the protection of patients, co-workers and family at home. … The hospital where I work primarily serves the Hispanic/Latino/Latina population; establishing physician/patient rapport is very important. Although our patients appreciate a hands on approach, COVID-19 made it imperative to identify new ways of showing care and compassion. During my training at PCOM Georgia, faculty placed an emphasis on obtaining a very thorough history on every patient, thus proving useful when inquiring about risk factors such as recent travel, sick contacts, occupation and modes of transportation. Assessing this information, we were able to backtrack a patient’s recent exposures, with the objective to stop the infectious cycle. We also applied many principles that were based on bioterrorism lectures during the triage of patients. These aforementioned methods have proven to be key with the prevention of an outbreak amongst patients in our hospital.”
As told to David McKay Wilson
April 24, 2020
Digest, the magazine for alumni and friends of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, is published by the Office of Marketing and Communications. The magazine reports on osteopathic and other professional trends of interest to alumni of the College’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and graduate programs at PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia.