Nurse Practitioner Jessica Weiss works at our health clinics in the Bronx and Harlem, where she focuses on reproductive health, family planning, physicals, and sick visits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted how she treats her patients as our health clinics are offering telehealth services. Instead of seeing 12 to 14 patients at the clinic per day, she sees two to four patients in person twice a week.
She uses the remaining days to conduct video calls with patients who are seeking refills or medical advice about a variety of issues. Jessica and her team were required to shift to telehealth services in a short amount of time, but have found that this new way of providing care is beneficial, especially for the teens she serves.
“I think doing a quick tele-visit with me and then popping to a pharmacy down the street from her apartment is a lot easier for these teens than making it to the clinic,” she said. “I’ve actually been reaching some patients that often would miss visits. They’re finding it easier.”
Jessica has worked for Children’s Aid for less than a year but this experience has brought her closer to her colleagues.
“I haven’t been at Children’s Aid that long and I feel like this experience has shown me what a supportive environment this is,” she said. “Everyone is stepping up to help each other out and cover for each other as needed. That would be another bright side, just the solidarity that came out of this.”
This overhaul has forced staff to get creative and will ultimately lead to better care in the future, Jessica said.
“There were a lot of learning opportunities,” she said. “The primary one is that if we can be a little more creative about how we reach our patients, we actually are able to fulfill their needs perhaps even better.”