Living in Northern New Jersey, I am probably in one of the hardest hit COVID areas in the country. New Jersey has had over 150,000 cases and over 10,000 deaths. In this blog post I am going to discuss how my area has handled this terrible virus.
If you were to become infected with COVID-19 the first step would be to get tested. New Jersey has set up over 46 testing locations. If someone in Wayne were to want to get tested, the closest location is William Paterson University, which is actually right in the middle of Wayne. However, the William Paterson testing site requires patients to have a doctor’s referral/prescription to be tested. The good thing about this testing site is that patients have to drive through it. But this brings up something that we have often discussed in this class; access. What if a patient does not have a car? Well the answer to that is that they would need to find a way to get to another testing site such as the Clifton Rite Aid. If a patient does test positive and their condition is bad enough, they will then be hospitalized.
Atlantic Health Hospitals
For this blog post, I would like to focus on the Atlantic Health Hospitals, which include Chilton Memorial Hospital, Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center, Hackettstown Medical Center, and Newton Medical Center. The reason that I would like to focus on these hospitals is because my mom is actually a nurse for an outpatient Cardiology group based out of Morristown Medical Center. My mom has still been going into the office everyday. They have her answering the phone for the COVID hotline they have set up. They also have her managing her normal patients, as they cannot be forgotten during this pandemic. My mom has been amazing to her patients during this, even calling an elderly patient’s church to ensure that she would get the groceries she needed. So there’s my shout-out to my mom!
As we have discussed in class, telehealth has become so popular during this pandemic. Telehealth was not all that common before this, so everyone using it would most likely be considered a novice now. People should not worry though, as Atlantic Health has a webpage devoted to FAQs about telehealth. One of the most interesting things on this webpage was a diagram about proper camera angles, which is shown below.
In the Hospitals
The hospitals in this area, including Atlantic Health Hospitals, have canceled all elective procedures. Hopefully these will be able to resume soon so people can get the treatment they need. The hospitals in this area are also being extremely strict about visitors. Atlantic Health Hospitals are following these rules:
-One visitor/support person for patients in hospice or end-of-life care
-One visitor/support person in the NICU
-One visitor/support person for pediatric patients
-One visitor/support person for cognitively impaired patients
-One designated support person for patients in the maternity centers
Atlantic Health Hospitals are asking for all sorts of donations. The first type of donation is for the healthcare providers on the frontline. Atlantic Health Hospitals have set up a webpage where people can donate to help healthcare providers with remote hotel stays to limit family exposure, rent or mortgage assistance, groceries, utilities, transportation to and from work, and emergency child and eldercare. This is the least that we could do for those people putting their lives on the line. Atlantic Health Hospitals are also asking for PPE donations. If people do not have any masks to donate, they are also accepting homemade masks! If people feel that giving masks is not enough, Atlantic Health Hospitals are also asking people to donate their blood. They are asking for regular blood donations, and also plasma donations of those that have recovered from COVID-19. It is great to see that everyone is able to play some sort of role in helping those on the frontlines.