With many people avoiding urgent care facilities due to fears of COVID-19, some healthcare services have continued providing essential services. Nayeli, optician and resident at The Dawson, is helping the community with urgent eye care needs.
“For some people, it can be as simple as ensuring they have glasses so they can see and work,” Nayeli said. “For others, it can be helping them find the source of pain in their eyes. In the past month, we’ve had four patients who if they wouldn’t have come to us late on a Friday, they would’ve been blind by Monday due to underlying conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.”
In Nayeli’s office, the team implemented several protocols to mitigate risk while working closely with the public. The employees wear goggles or face shields, face masks, and covers over scrubs. They use UVC lights to sanitize equipment and utensils.
“We are limiting how many patients we see,” Nayeli said. “When we see a patient, we take their temperature, they wash their hands, and we ask that they do not touch their phones. The rooms and chairs are sanitized after the patient leaves. If they try on a pair of glasses, they’re sanitized with peroxide, soap and UVC light.”
While the additional procedures do add a layer of safety, they have caused some new challenges for Nayeli.
“It’s really taken a toll on my hands – they’re raw from washing,” Nayeli said. “It’s okay, though – I’ll do a hand treatment when this is all over. We’re blessed to have everything we need – from plenty of hospital-grade disinfectant, to goggles that don’t fog. We’re even assigned specific phones so I don’t put my face on shared equipment. I feel safe right now.”
The procedures have resulted in longer work hours and fewer days off for Nayeli who misses spending free time with her husband and her eight-month old English Bulldog, Olly. Since she works with the public, she has also decided to isolate from friends and family.
“That’s my worst fear – giving it to someone else,” Nayeli said. “I can’t spend time with my mom – I just roll the window down and give her what I need to give her. She’s high risk.”
Nayeli said living at The Dawson has helped her adjust to life in quarantine.
“We’re so glad we live here,” Nayeli said. “We have all the amenities we need here and can walk around the community. If we had to go to the park, there would be too many people.”
Seeing how people respond and help each other has also inspired her during this time.
“It’s refreshing to see the kind side of co-workers,” Nayeli said. “If a patient arrives without gloves or a mask, we give them what they need because we don’t want anything bad to happen to them. I’ve also seen what RPM has done for residents – people who don’t have steady work – and I thought that was very nice.”
Nayeli said this has also impacted how she sees herself.
“I’ve always felt valued at work, but even more now,” Nayeli said. “I didn’t leave and I’ve shown myself I can be tough.”
RPM is proud to serve Nayeli as a resident. She’s an important part of The People Behind The Property making a difference despite great obstacles. We are grateful to her for the dedication and resiliency she brings to her work and our community.