In our series How It Is we talk to people of different origins about how their lives have changed as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. For our last issue, we spoke to a gynecologist who routinely gives birth to babies in a hospital and also sees patients in a private practice. Here she describes what changes she has experienced, what feelings she has in connection with this pandemic and of course what it is like to give birth to babies. Your answers have been edited and compressed for clarity.
SELF: First of all, how are you ?
The work is a bit stressful. The office is much more controlled than the hospital. We know our patients. We know how to look for them. It's all a lot easier. Work and childbirth are different because it is very acute work. It is very practical. And the guidelines change frequently.
We are always thinking of a different scenario in which a potential PUI (examined person) can lie on the floor and we have missed a way to protect ourselves. ( Editor's Note: A PUI is a person who is thought to have COVID-1
How has your everyday life changed since the beginning of this pandemic?
I was in the office three days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Another day of the week, I would be on call from 7 a.m. in the hospital. to 7:00 p.m.
In the office, we performed annual surveys that included obstetric patients between eight weeks of gestation and childbirth, planned operations such as hysterectomies, treated irregular bleeding, treated sexually transmitted diseases, performed prejudice counseling, performed infertility tests, and people after that See birth. Now we only see obstetric patients and emergencies, for example if someone has an ectopic pregnancy. We have just started visiting telemedicine. So if people have questions or concerns and can't determine if it's an emergency, we try to manage it virtually.
We used to have several doctors in the office at the same time to see all the patients. Now we have split into two teams and each team comes every other day. If someone on my team is exposed, it is assumed that we are all exposed, and that brings us out, and then there is a completely different team that can see patients and keep everything going instead of closing the office. Our practice also applies for the paycheck protection loan because we are a small company. The loan helps you with your payroll so you can pay your employees and keep them busy.
As the hospital became busier, we were given the opportunity to volunteer in other areas. I volunteered to do anesthesia and intubate patients if necessary, but I haven't done so yet.
Did you ever think in the beginning that the practice would apply for a loan?
No Not at all, but things have changed. Think of all the medical practices that cannot feed themselves. People like your eye doctor, your dentist – things that don't require immediate care. It is still a business. I don't want to sound greedy because I didn't get it for the money, but it's a private practice, so we still have to work – and we still want to be able to take care of them when this pandemic ends.