The process of seeing one COVID-19 patient

Illustration by Joelena Despard

Gillian Moran-Perez, News Editor

There’s a reason why doctors, nurses and other medical workers have to go through medical supplies quickly. Dr. Boris Vaisman practices Family Medicine at Woodland Hills Urgent Care Center but often has access to see his patients at neighboring hospitals: Providence Cenars-Senair Tarzana Medical Center and West Hills Hospital and Medical Center. Vaisman shared a run down of the process of attending to just one COVID-19 patient at either hospital.
1. Vaisman must come dressed in scrubs, all fabric with no belts or buttons once he arrives at the hospital. According to Vaisman, the virus stays alive for a shorter amount of time on fabric compared to plastic or metal. A recent study reported by National Public Radio released the lifespan of the virus on various surfaces. He then makes sure he’s wearing an N95 mask and patient examination gloves before getting out of the car.
2. Before entering the hospital, his temperature needs to be checked.
3. Vaisman then takes the stairs up to the floor that the patient is on. He says the stairwell is less confined than the elevator.
4. Once entering the floor, he discards the gloves, recycles the N95 mask and washes his hands.
5. Vaisman then receives new gloves, a gown, a disinfected face shield, a new N95 mask, hair cover, booties and a second pair of gloves.
6. Vaisman enters the patient’s room, talking to them from a distance of six feet.
7. A discardable stethoscope is used to listen to the patient’s lungs and heart. “At one point you have to touch them,” said Vaisman.
8. When the appointment is over, everything gets discarded, except the N95 mask which gets recycled, and the face shield that gets disinfected again.
9. He washes his hands again, puts on new gloves and another N95 mask.
10. He then walks downstairs and finds a computer that is not on a COVID-19 nursing floor, wipes down the computer, writes a note and enters any orders for the patient.
11. Once Vaisman is done with his work, he is ready to leave the hospital. He undresses in the parking lot into new scrubs where no one can see him, and throws the dirty scrubs in a bag in the back of his trunk.
12. Vaisman’s day is not complete without putting on new gloves for the ride home.