The New Year brings hope for the coming year, but also a time for reflection on the past twelve months. So much has happened over the past year, including my clinic closing for renovations. While the pandemic was building, my clinic was already figuring out how to pivot to telehealth and transition to remote operations. This was a big transition for me. I had just completed a graduate program and was looking forward to seeing patients and helping connect them to resources. Learning I would not being seeing patients face to face meant I had to adjust my expectations for the coming year.
I tried to start my service term with no expectations of what was to come. This way I could only be pleasantly surprised by what was to come. However, with the pandemic worsening and my clinic’s abrupt closure, the surprises were not always happy ones. But as my clinic director always says, our service network is a family. Our team came together to support our patients in ways I never could have expected. We helped our patients find different clinic locations and transitioned many more telehealth visits. The social work team that I serve with reached out to patients frequently just to check in.
While the circumstances were challenging for patients and providers, I met many patients that were so appreciative of our assistance. Recently, I reached out to a patient to check in and see if she needed assistance. I was able to talk with the patient for a while, listening to her concerns and discussing her current situation. As the call was finishing up, she told me that our conversation had cheered her up significantly. She mentioned that she had recently been going through a dark time and knowing that I was there to listen and discuss any of her concerns felt as if a heavy burden had been lifted off her. My service has been extremely rewarding so far and has grown my respect and understanding for the population of Philadelphia. Even though the past year has seemed fraught with challenges and difficult times, I hope the assistance I have been able to offer patients has brought them a little bit of light and happiness. Hopefully I can meet my patients face to face soon, and thank them for the joy they have brought me.
Image One: Emily's work from home set up featuring her pandemic puppy
Image Two: The front of the Health Annex and shopping center it is located in
This Blog was written by Emily Day who is serving as a Patient Navigator
at the Family Practice and Counseling Network: Health Annex.