Caring for You Safely in Light of COVID-19
Regardless of what I’m doing, I have always maintained excellent safety and sanitization procedures ingrained in me from my 20 years as a nurse. Even on regular days at home, I tend to wash my hands with vigour! I know the proper procedures for gowning and gloving (you might have also heard “donning and doffing PPE”) and have done this procedure hundreds of times in my nursing career, while I worked in ER and ICU; I also taught the procedures to nursing students.
It’s now May 19 and the BC government has given permission for in-person counselling and other health professional work to resume as part of Phase 2, provided that certain safety criteria have been met. What this means is that I can again take clients for in-person counselling, and also meet in person about end-of-life doula care or advance care planning, at my office in Coquitlam. I will continue to also offer online and telephone support for both counselling and care.
Please read below for more information on how I can care for you and your loved ones safely in light of COVID-19.
I have read through and ensured that my office space in Coquitlam (near Douglas College) meets the requirements set out by WorkSafeBC (requirements for in-person counselling and those for office spaces). Several procedures are in place to ensure that you and I are both kept safe when at the office.
- The reception area for my office has been revised to ensure physical distancing, with a maximum of four guests in reception at any one time. The chairs in the waiting room are being wiped down on a regular basis, but you are also free to stand to wait for me to meet you to take you to my office.
- The reception desk is fitted with a plexiglass partition.
- There are touchless hand sanitizing stations.
- I clean my office regularly with sanitizing spray.
- The counselling offices allow for a 6-foot distance between us while we talk.
- There are masks available at the entrance for $2.00 each.
- Despite the guaranteed 6 feet distance, I will wear a mask for your safety and protection as the federal government suggested at this time. I will also require you to wear a mask at this time. Though smiles and frowns of empathy may be hidden, I assure you that I will present to you no less of an empathetic session than I would not wearing a mask.
Of course, if you are feeling unwell or travelled outside of BC in the last 14 days, or you have been in contact with anyone who has been unwell or travelled outside of BC in the last 14 days, I would ask that you instead request an online meeting for the time being. Please see below regarding online meetings.
In-Person Doula Care
As I stated earlier, from having been a nurse for 20 years, I have excellent hand hygiene and infectious disease precaution practices. I have also been prudent and reviewed the WorkSafeBC guidelines for health professionals regarding COVID-19.
I would not visit you or your loved one if I did not feel that I could do so safely.
- In meetings, I will wear a mask for your safety and protection until the BC government and/or the CDC deems it unnecessary.
- For meetings with family members (i.e., other than those in their end-of-life in hospice or hospital), I will also require you to wear a mask for my safety.
- Should I be invited to visit you or your loved one in a hospice or hospital, I will wear a mask and other PPE successfully and without question.
I am happy to do counselling online or have an online discussion about advance care planning or end-of-life doula services.
- I use Zoom for professionals, which is constantly being updated to be optimally secure.
- All of my invitations come with a secure password and with an individual link and neither are reused to prevent any hacking.
- I do not record our meetings.
- As with all my work, I require you to sign an Informed Consent document to attest that you understand these terms before we begin our work together.
As usual, any work with me requires the signing of an informed consent document and I prefer to do this electronically whenever possible. Any paper files are kept safe in a locked box to which only I have access, and all of my electronic files are securely saved in encrypted formats to which only I have the passwords.
I have a family at home. I don’t want anything negative to happen to either your family or mine, so I will do my utmost to ensure our mutual safety and health in our interactions. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about how I can care for you or your family member at this time.