By Amy Boyer, OD, of New Albany, Ohio
With a very grateful heart, I am excited to have received my second dose of the Moderna vaccine! Side effects thus far: jumping up and down—excited knowing that my family, patients and friends are just one little step closer to a life where this virus packs less of a punch.
As my colleagues in optometry and all medical venues are aware, health care delivery right now is…a challenge. We are performing and adapting under pressures no one could have anticipated. I care for patients employed in just about every lane of health care. Know what we have in common? Other than cleaning everything in sight a hundred times a day?
We are tired. I have struggled to find words of encouragement for these patients and I always fall short. My health care lane means I improve sight. What I think we need currently as providers is—vision. So I tell my patients that who are nurses, dental hygienists, pharmacy techs, hospice, PT and countless other practitioners: “I see you.”
I see you after your third 12-hour shift in a row.
I see you wiping down every surface. Again. And again.
I see you giving every ounce of yourself to your patients, your families and your kids.
I see you at the end of the day when there is absolutely nothing left in the tank.
And I see you get up in the dark the next morning and do it all over again, smiling behind that mask.
Health care during a global pandemic is hard. I usually begin every exam now with a cheeky, “well, how are you since the world fell off its axis?”
This is met mostly with chuckles and eye rolling. But sometimes patients’ responses, especially health care providers, are more heartfelt. And we take a minute to talk about their corner of the world. How balancing patient care and their kids’ virtual learning and finding time to update their contact lens prescription has just been—hard.
I see you.
Do you see someone at Starbucks in scrubs in the morning? Grab their coffee for them. Trust me, they need caffeine.
See someone grabbing lunch with a hospital badge/medical ID? Swipe your card for theirs, too.
Do you have a favorite practitioner you frequent? Call the office and ask if you can have food for the staff delivered one day.
Do you have a visit coming up where staff will screen you, take your temperature and recite the COVID questions they have recited hundreds of times?
Look them in the eye. Say “thank you.” Mean it.
Tell the health care providers in your corner of the world—you see them.
Now, where did I put my coffee?