May 18, 2020

Caring for Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kerry McDonald, Nurse Practitioner, shares what it’s like seeing patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I joined Landmark in December 2019. When I looked for a new position, it was vital to me to join a team that was working to improve how we deliver health care. I wanted to be inspired, to grow professionally and, most of all, be of service in a meaningful way.

When I joined Landmark, I immediately found all of those qualities and worked harder than I had in a long time to learn a new way of providing care.  My friends and family asked me how I liked my new job.  I always paused and said, “It is so hard and a little crazy, but there is something I love about it.” As soon as I started to feel more comfortable in my new role, we had COVID-19 to contend with. Things got harder and crazier, but I have never been prouder to work for a company.

I was in awe at how our leadership worked with us, for us and continued to always focus on what is best for the patient. Our input was always solicited, incorporated and appreciated. I have consistently felt heard and supported in my job during this most uncertain time. It became very clear to me that one of the things I love about Landmark is the leadership and team that surrounds me.

As we quickly switched gears from seeing patients in their homes to providing telephonic visits, we also added check-in calls to unscheduled patients. These calls have impacted me greatly. I called a patient and reassured her that I would still go see her as needed and to not hesitate to call.  She got choked up and said, “It’s good to know somebody still cares.”

Having the direction from leadership and the time to reach out has made such a difference to so many patients I called.  A simple phone call allowed me to identify a man who had only enough food and money left for a week and we were able to direct him to third party resources to get him the help he needed.

Every day, our team of providers has touched base to share our thoughts, challenges and successes.  Our processes continue to change but the best interest of our patients and team always comes first. This has empowered me to move beyond fear and be of service. I have been able to see many patients who needed assistance including a 97-year-old patient that had a fall, to treat a diabetic patient’s symptoms and refer a patient to our behavioral health team.

In other words, I have been able to do what we always do but with the confidence that I have the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) I need, the support of my leadership and the company of an incredible team. I am grateful to be with Landmark and our patients during this most challenging time.  It is a very difficult job, but I love these patients and this company.