We want to share with you another testimony from a front-line healthcare worker. Meet Lorraine McDowell, Nurse Practitioner.
“COVID-19 has indeed brought some changes to our daily clinic operations. These changes are not drastically different to what we have always been doing, yet at the same time, we have had to adjust. For example, our patient workflow is one of the first changes patients will experience. We screen and sometimes evaluate patients in the tents outside in front of our entrance.
Another obvious change is that everyone is wearing a mask, patients and staff alike. Every aspect of the precautions we take is to ensure patient safety. I believe we have an obligation to model appropriate precautionary behavior for the community we serve. The masks, social distancing, sanitizing, and education we provide are all done in the vein of making sure we keep our patients and staff safe, but these also serve to demonstrate the steps the community should be taking to keep themselves, family members, and neighbors safe.
Rest assured, though, that our commitment to providing quality medical and dental care to our patients has not changed. The Coronavirus pandemic has created feelings of uncertainty and fear. One of the best things we have been able to do during this crisis is provide some normalcy at a time when things are certainly not “normal.’ Our patients know that when they come to Good Sam Gwinnett, they will receive competent and compassionate care from the providers they have grown to know and trust. Patients may come to the clinic with concerning symptoms or perhaps after having received a positive diagnosis of COVID-19. I, and my fellow coworkers, make every effort to avoid perpetuating the stigma that may come with such a diagnosis. We make sure our patients do not feel ostracized, and we seek to minimize the feelings of isolation that may come with a positive diagnosis of COVID-19.
I recently had an appointment with a patient whom I had not seen since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. She is older and was afraid to come to the clinic because she did not want to get sick. Prior to the pandemic, we would have embraced, but on this day we did not due to social distancing. As I walked into the room, she expressed how very excited she was to see me. So, while we could not see one another’s smiles behind the masks we wore, we could hear the joy in each other’s voices and held hands for a few minutes while sharing how happy we were to see one another again. In a time when we refrain from being close to one another, I was reminded that human touch is such an integral part of relating to one another.
At the heart of everything we do, our patients remain central to all that takes place in the clinic. We take pride in exemplifying our mission – to “Demonstrate the love of Christ through providing quality, affordable, and accessible health and dental services to the poor and uninsured.” While we may appear before you covered from head to toe in Personal Protective Equipment, know that we are taking every day in stride and staying focused on providing the best care possible for every patient with whom we come in contact. It’s our goal to do everything we can to keep our patients, their families, and our staff safe during these unprecedented times.”
Lorraine came to Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett as a volunteer nurse in 2015 and later as a Nurse Practitioner student. She has been a member of the staff since November 2018. We have screened nearly 8,800 people since Georgia’s first COVID-19 case; more than 160 were suspicious for the virus and greater than half have tested positive. Please keep our staff in your prayers.
We are also asking for your nominations for the Second Annual Good Neighbor Award. We are certain that in times like these, you have seen neighbors stepping up in extraordinary ways to serve those in need. We’ll announce more as we approach October, including how you can join us for the virtual gala. Until then, please submit your nomination here.
As always, we are grateful for your support. We could not fulfill what God has called us to do if you were not here for us. May you be blessed in abundance so you may bless with abandon!