Be kind, be calm, be safe

I had my eyebrows waxed this morning.  They were overdue but people really can’t see that sort of facial detail on a Zoom call, so I had let it slide.  On the drive to the brow studio my daughter asked me if I know any “Karens” and, after sorting out how a 10 year old knows this reference, explained that I did not know any “Karens.” I also said that I didn’t like much of this whole “Karen” insult to women.  Anyway, I left the car and went to have my brows done. While I was in the chair an actual, real life “Karen” came in behind me.  She was very rude to the poor receptionist asking why she needed to do another COVID questionnaire when she had been to this salon in the past.  The receptionist tried her best to help her complete the COVID questionnaire and absorb the terrible snarkiness she was being dealt. I felt terrible for the receptionist.

 

The world is a stressful place. We are all feeling it and it is really understandable that we let our frustrations out on the people around us.

 

Our staff at Olive are feeling the stress too.  While the vast majority of people coming to the clinic are lovely, as always, we are seeing more and more aggressive, angry patients. We have staff in tears, staff considering quitting, and staff on stress leave.  We even had a senior IVF nurse with over a decade of experience in this field go to the Emergency Room with a panic attack recently.  This level of stress is new for us since the COVID pandemic began.

 

What is upsetting people?

 

We cannot have partners or patient support people in the clinic as we have to limit the number of people per square feet in the clinic to comply with Work Safe BC and the Ministry Of Health.  This is very sad; we know how hard the information is to process, and procedures are to experience, alone. It adds a new level of stress to patients.

 

We are limiting the number of in-person visits and have moved some of our IVF education to an on-line format. This is less personal than we’d like, but it does allow us to stay open and continue to help people.

 

Our international patients have to isolate for 2 weeks in Canada before they can come to the clinic. This adds a huge barrier to care for them and drives up the cost of an already expensive endeavour.

 

This is not ideal. We have always been proud of our patient-centred model of care.  COVID is making it hard to meet that standard, I have to admit.

 

We are truly doing our best to “be kind, be calm and be safe” as Dr. Bonnie Henry would want. We ask for your understanding.

 

Let’s hope our COVID restrictions will do be a thing of the past soon.

 

Dr. Beth Taylor

Dr. Beth Taylor MD, FRCSC
Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility