DispatchHealth has been trailblazing a path and humanizing and transforming the healthcare industry since 2013. Our providers deliver healthcare to people with complicated health issues, helping them recover safely and comfortably at home while lowering medical costs. And the COVID-19 pandemic only reinforces our dedication to providing convenient, high-quality and affordable medical care.
So what is it like to work on the frontlines for a company that is delivering care during this crisis? Aaron Carter, Physician Assistant at DispatchHealth, shares his experience firsthand:
How long have you worked at DispatchHealth?
I’ve been with DispatchHealth since September, 2017.
How is DispatchHealth different from other jobs you’ve had?
Prior to DispatchHealth, I worked in an emergency department for over seven years. With DispatchHealth, I am completely focused on one patient at a time with an average visit length of 45 minutes. The ability to focus on one patient without significant distractions, and to treat them in their home environment, is a very unique and amazing opportunity.
What does a typical day look like for you?
As with most healthcare jobs, there is a lot of variability day–to–day. We start at the clinical office and check out our equipment for the day. A typical shift is about 10 hours long, and on average we are assigned 7-10 patients throughout the day. We’ll treat anything from a simple sore throat to a complex congestive heart exacerbation. After wrapping up a visit we will drive to the next patient on the schedule, which provides enough time to finish up documentation.
Can you describe a patient encounter that has really stuck with you in an impactful way?
One patient visit comes to mind that really solidifies what an amazing service we are. I was called to evaluate an elderly woman for unilateral swelling of her leg. Our exam revealed that a cellulitis was covering more than 50 percent of her leg. In any other circumstance, she likely would have been seen in the emergency department and subsequently admitted to the hospital. The same day we were called to evaluate this patient, her husband of over 65 years (on hospice) had decided to stop eating, stop all of his medications, and allow for natural process of death occur more quickly. My patient was very clear that she was not leaving her husband and needed to stay home to support him. I was able to provide a dose of IV antibiotics and the patient was set up with routine IV antibiotic infusions the following day. She expressed such gratitude for the care we were able to offer her.
How has your daily routine changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Our internal processes and capabilities are evolving quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety of our patients, communities, and medical teams is our number one priority, so our leadership team has worked diligently to develop comprehensive infection prevention protocols and obtain adequate personal protective equipment.
We are in a unique situation to help our patients manage acute illnesses, and most importantly, help determine if their illness or injury is significant enough to require evaluation in the emergency department or if management at home is an appropriate approach. We also provide another level of triage of patients for our overwhelmed EMS and hospital system partners.
What has it been like for you to be on the frontlines during this crisis?
I feel grateful to be able to contribute to the greater good of our healthcare system and help manage resource utilization during this unprecedented time. As more and more patients are not wanting to go to the emergency department, we are seeing severely sick patients at home and doing our best to keep them safe.
From your perspective, why is the work that you do meaningful (especially during this pandemic)?
DispatchHealth is able to provide an amazing service to our communities and provide care to people who are too frail or high risk to venture out to seek care in a tradition brick and mortar healthcare setting. And amid a pandemic, it is that much more important to help keep patients with complicated health problems home where they are safe and not risking exposure.
To learn more about DispatchHealth careers, or to see our open positions, visit dispatchhealth.com/careers.
To learn more about how DispatchHealth is responding to COVID-19, visit dispatchhealth.com/covid-19.