Here are a few common sense suggestions relating to office procedures for you to consider as you navigate the COVID-19 crisis. We acknowledge with appreciation this wisdom from Dr. Art LeVine, FCA Past President:
- Remind your patients about the importance of Chiropractic in maintaining their general health.
- Share what nutritional knowledge you have of what best to do and take (whether vitamins/mins/herbals/tinctures/homeopathics, etc.) for a viral condition; and what food sources are best/worst to take during such periods as well.
- Have bottles of hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or higher) in every room in clear display so that patients can actually see it, to provide a little psychological comfort at the very least.
- Put quality soap (preferably bars) in the bathroom. Get rid of the foamy or flowery stuff.
- Have masks at the ready. Ask patients if they would feel more comfortable if they or you or staff were wearing them. Again, don't argue with patients. This is about putting them at ease: We want them to come back, right!?
- Break out your old clinic or lab jackets to put over your dress clothes, or put scrubs over them to provide another layer of protection so you're not dragging viral agents to your home on your clothes as unintended gifts for your family. We make hand to body/body to body contact with patients all the time and it's impossible to not have microscopic "presents" on your clothing after seeing patients.
- Rubber/surgical gloves. Yes, it might be something to have on hand as well. Again, one could ask patients if they would feel more comfortable if the doctor and CA were wearing them if they're thinking about all the people you may have touched before them. Doctor and staff should wash hands thoroughly and/or use the hand sanitizer IN FRONT OF the patient so that they see you actually do it, but patients may still want you to wear gloves. Be cognizant of latex gloves where some patients may be allergic!
- Headrests. Before the patient puts their face in the hole, clean it with alcohol or some qualified antiseptic right in front of the patient! Let them see you do it. I know I would come to a screeching halt as my face neared the headrest thinking of all the noses, mouths and watery eyes that have been there before me! Don't just change the paper - sanitize the headrest!
- Don't let therapy pads, sponges, towels, etc. make direct contact with patient's skin unless you plan on using them once and then throwing them in a hot clothes washer right after. Keep a layer of clothing between. Devices using electro-mechanical heads like ultrasound can be sanitized after each use.