Updated: June 12, 2020 10:34 AM
Created: June 12, 2020 09:17 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Journey Pediatrics in northeast Albuquerque, like many health clinics, have adjusted to the pandemic when it comes to treating patients.
Dr. Melissa Mason, a pediatrician at the clinic, said she has missed seeing her patients.
“There’s nothing like seeing your patients in the office,” she said during a Zoom interview.
But since March, telemedicine has become the norm for sick patients at the clinic. When it comes to regular check-ups, there’s a different routine to follow.
Patients need to wait in their vehicles — where they can call the clinic to check in. Dr. Mason said parents are prepared for their short wait. She’s seen kids coloring, playing board games, playing I-spy and on their tablets.
Only one parent is allowed with one patient in the exam room, if possible.
"We're also screening families before they come in. So we're asking those questions like--have you had a fever? Have you had any known exposure to anybody with COVID? Have you had any travel within the last two weeks?" she said.
Face masks are a must for anyone 2 years old and over. Dr. Mason said kids can practice wearing a mask at home.
"I had one family tell me that their child really loved ninjas so they played ninja at home and they were able to get their child used to wearing a mask that way,” she said.
Employees at the clinic are cleaning and sanitizing their space frequently. If employees have any symptoms or a high fever, Dr. Mason said they will be sent home and tested.
The clinic understands the new routine can be a hassle for parents, but the feedback has been positive.
"I think families really appreciate the efforts that we're going through to continue to provide quality and safe care for them,” said Dr. Mason.
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