Canes Covering Coronavirus, Florida

Working at a doctor’s office during a crisis

Shianne Salazar
Hollywood, Florida
5 p.m. Monday, May 4.


Working at a doctor’s office during a crisis

Examination room 1, vacant

Hollywood Primary Care, like many other primary care offices around the country, is adapting care methods to best serve patients amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The practice is located in the medical suites of 2301 N. University Drive. It is in the building adjacent to Memorial Hospital Pembroke.

Something I should mention: HPC is my father’s practice, and I work the reception desk part time. My proximity to the outbreak may seem alarming, but I don’t feel uneasy.

At least, not yet.

The need for primary care facilities during this time is immense, as is the need to adapt to alternative methods of patient care. Now operating on abbreviated hours, the providers are accepting only asymptomatic patients for in-house visits. The urge to keep traffic low is prevalent, so we encourage most patients to opt for a phone, or ‘Telemed,’ appointment.

Patients who fear they may have contracted the virus but have trouble accessing testing can call the office’s main line and seek a referral.

I’ve been working at Suite 104 since doors first opened in 2018, and while I’ve seen and heard my fair share of bizarre things, I’ve never experienced anything like this.

But then again, no one has.

The other receptionists and I may be hearing about a lot of different things, but my dad and his associates are seeing it.

It is daunting to think that the only people on the planet equipped to aid those inflicted by COVID-19 — healthcare professionals and disease control experts — have virtually nothing to reference in terms of how to handle this pandemic.

Hospitals have become so overwhelmed by coronavirus cases that they’ve begun to turn away patients with other underlying conditions. It’s especially unfortunate that many specialty or non-essential medical practices have been forced to close their doors, thus making the demand for primary care greater.

“People are under the impression that they are alone in this,” Dr. Melissa Green, a (front-line worker at Memorial Hospital worker and HPC associate, said. “The reality is they have a massive support system.” Self-isolation does not mean you should neglect your healthcare needs. If you start to feel sick or have any other concerns, it is important that you call your doctor and inform them because they really have your best interest at heart.”

My desk, facing the waiting room


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May 11, 2020

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