Hello! I hope you are doing well during this unprecedented time.
Though the office was closed for 7 weeks to in-person treatments, during the Coronavirus lockdown, I am now starting my 3rd week back to seeing patients.
In this post, I’d like to share some changes that I’ve made to the office, as safety precautions against the spread of Covid-19. I want you to know what to expect when you come for treatment, and how I am committed to keeping you as safe as possible.
Also, I am continuing to provide Telehealth options and “front-step” pick-up of supplements, for those who need or wish to continue to isolate.
Face Coverings are Required
The first thing to know is that face coverings are currently mandatory in the office. Your face covering doesn’t have to be anything special…it can be a disposable mask, a re-usable fabric mask, a dust mask, a bandana, a gaiter or any other mouth/nose covering.
This is to keep the air in the office as clean as possible, for the safety of everyone. If you do not have a face covering, I can provide you one.
When You Arrive
For now, your waiting area will be your car. Once you park, please call or text 727-475-4710 to let me know you have arrived. When I’m ready, I will either call or text you back, or more likely I will just come outside to wave you up to the door.
I will take your temperature using a touch-less thermometer and ask if you have any Covid-19 symptoms before we go inside. (100.4 is the temperature cut off.)
I ask you to please not bring anyone to your appointment with you unless they are required for your proper care. Also, please do not bring food or drink, or any extra belongings besides the essentials.
Once inside, I will ask you to sanitize your hands, put on your mask (if not already on), and sign the Covid-19 Patient Agreement Forms (if not already signed), before we proceed to the treatment room.
You will find tissues and trash cans easy to access in every room, to aid in proper sneeze/cough hygiene.
To prepare for the eventual use of the waiting room, I’ve made changes there as well: The fabric couch has been replaced with vinyl chairs, for social distancing and easy disinfecting.
I have also removed all frequently touched items and those that are difficult to disinfect, including the coffee table, drink coasters, books, magazines and toys.
The drinking water cups are now in a dispenser that protects them from the ambient air.
Samples of all educational articles, brochures and cards are encased in plastic. If you see one you’d like, simply ask, and I will give you a clean one from behind the desk.
The Treatment Rooms
Each treatment room looks a bit different now. There are fewer chairs, for social distancing, and the fabric chairs have been replaced with vinyl, or covered in thick plastic, for disinfection.
The treatment tables and all pillows have been sealed in heavy vinyl or PVC coverings, under the linens, to be disinfected following each treatment.
Most decor items have been removed, for ease of disinfecting touchable surfaces between patients. Each room has a high quality HEPA air filter that runs continuously.
And each room has a Disinfection Supply Station containing cleaning spray or wipes, hospital-grade disinfectant, microfiber cloths and cleaning gloves.
Most decor items have been removed or replaced with a Disinfection Supply Station. The air freshener spray has been replaced with a touch-less option.
A sign reminds us to properly wash our hands. And the paper towel roll has been replaced with a dispenser for individually folded paper towels.
The Checkout Area
All of the “Dr. Dawn’s” homemade products, including Body Butter, Lip Balm and the NEW Aromatherapy Mask Spray (for fabric masks) are in stock, but you will need to request them, as they no longer sit on the counter.
The pen container is gone, so if you need a pen, I will give you a clean one from behind the counter. If you prefer a touch-less payment option, I can now send you an invoice via email or text, to pay with your credit card.
Please feel free to use the hand sanitizer provided, anytime during checkout.
I now offer Zoom video Telehealth for New Patients (living in FL only), and telephone meetings for Follow-up’s. These appointments include nutrition, herbs, supplements, and self-care suggestions.
This is a wonderful option for those who need to continue to isolate due to underlying health conditions, recent travel, or because they have Covid-19.
Online Pharmacy Option
I now also have an online pharmacy. It will allow you to purchase, through a reputable source, many of the products that I carry in my clinic. Since they can be purchased online and shipped directly to your home, you won’t have to come to the office to pick up refills. This will be particularly great for snowbirds and those who are using Telehealth! (More on this in a future post…if you are interested now, just email me.)
Behind the Scenes
While you will see many changes when you come for acupuncture, you likely won’t see the amount of cleaning, disinfecting and CDC compliance procedures that are going on throughout the day.
I have disinfection checklists that I follow after each patient visit, daily and weekly. This ensures that I don’t miss anything, and provides meticulous records of when each surface was cleaned, with what product.
If you would like to read my Covid-19 Infection Control Policies & Procedures document, click here.
I also participate in weekly webinars by the Council of Colleges for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, the American Society of Acupuncturists, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, the American Acupuncture Council, and/or the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.
The topics involve how acupuncturists can adopt the current “best practices” in order to be compliant with CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines for healthcare clinics as the virus moves through our communities.
Also, I actively seek out the newest information on this Coronavirus, for 2 reasons. First, so that I may better understand the optimal ways to prevent its transmission in my clinic. And second, to learn about what natural treatments and herbs are being found to provide the most benefit to those who are infected.
Different but Still Great!
So, while Covid-19 has definitely changed most aspects of how I run the clinic, I am very happy to see patients again, and provide the amazing medicine that is acupuncture. Patients have been glad to receive treatment again, and they report that their treatment experience has been just as great as before.
I feel very blessed to be able to do what I love, and to have amazing patients who value what I do. I am so grateful for you all!
As always, I’m wishing you Peace and Wellness.
Dr. Dawn Potter