The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed our personal and professional lives. It has put some of my PA colleagues in interesting situations. Specialist clinics, such as my outpatient Cardiology office, have completely transitioned to telemedicine.
This has brought an interesting challenge, particularly for us in Cardiology, as I am unable to perform clinical exams for active heart failure patients or those with valvular disease. I often rely on in-office ECGs to assess rate control for patients with arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation.
This has essentially become impossible in the current landscape. Many of the patients are elderly and unable to use technology, such as OTN, while others can barely hear me over the phone alone. Every day we try to overcome these barriers and change our practice; it is certainly a work in progress. Many of our cardiac patients are high risk for coronavirus related complications.
We are doing our best and our patients are extremely appreciative. We are able to answer their questions, address their concerns, and make necessary medication adjustments while they are able to stay safely in their homes.
I often think about my PA colleagues in the ER who are battling respiratory cases to the best of their abilities with limited resources.
“Family Medicine PAs are doing their hardest to keep their patients out of the Emergency Departments as much as possible, while still providing advice and management through telemedicine. Others are still bringing paediatric and prenatal patients for in-office visits, as required by Ontario Medical Association at this time.”
– MIZNA, CANADIAN PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
Regardless of our clinical environments, I could not be more proud of our Canadian PA colleagues and their presence in our health care system at this time!
Hang in there, friends!