Clinical Instructor, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, per diem, nursing homes
Optum Health per diem, Philadelphia region
April 8, 2020
In addition to my full time teaching at Villanova, I see patients as an Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner for Optum Health per diem. We see patients in nursing homes and work to treat in place when possible. I see patients at many homes but they have us capped to two homes only for Optum. We go all over as per diems from Philly and all the counties.
This COVID-19 is unlike anything I’ve seen in my 23 years of nursing. The virus is so invisible, and we don’t know who has it or who doesn’t. Usually in medicine, we find the cause and treat. The length of the isolation is unique too. We have closed down units for the flu in the past, but not usually for this length of time.
The isolation of no visitors for our geriatric population, and all patients, is difficult. It’s amazing to see staff continue to do so much more than just their jobs to keep things light and as interactive as possible. The teamwork of all staff has been heartwarming! Staff are singing with them, doing puzzles with them and we have Facetimed families for birthdays or just to say hello. And it’s all staff – dietary, housekeeping, nursing assistants. The geriatric population love to see family members no matter how they do it!
In terms of my practice changing, we just tackle each day as it’s an unknown of what each day brings. It makes me very thankful to be able to help – even if there are risks involved. I think when this is all over, the personal and professional decompression will allow for more time to see how practice has changed.