During the 18 months since the coronavirus pandemic shook the world, the medical community has evolved and adapted to new procedures, technology, medications, vaccines, and patients needs.

"It's been pretty crazy," Shari Powell, owner of Urgent Care of Ada, said Wednesday about the past year and a half. "We went from rolling along just like normal, then we had the shut-down. People just quit getting out. We were staying open on an emergency basis."

"Rapid testing, sometimes referred to as point-of-care testing, you can do just like a strep test of a flu test, and you're able to get the results in 15 minutes," Powell said. "Up until that point (when they got rapid testing capability) it was two or three weeks before we got any results, so you had to quarantine. The point-of-care testing was a real switch in the game for everyone."

The limited availability of the rapid test led to stress.

"I believe our facility and another urgent care were the only ones doing point-of-care testing in Ada," Powell said. "We were quite overwhelmed last winter. We had long lines every morning."

Powell said one advantage of the increase in testing was a change in procedures that helped streamline their workflow.

"We just developed some new, better procedures," Powell added. "We added contactless check-ins, we can check in online now, we're doing a lot more things on the phone, people can wait in their cars. All this is so we can keep in line with the CDC's requirements for limiting transmission. We don't want a bunch of ill people all sitting in the waiting room all together.

"This delta variant surge (of the coronavirus) has led us to add staff, gearing up for that," Powell said. "I think this winter, and as school starts back, we're going to be extremely busy."

Powell said one problem the health care community faces is that symptoms for illnesses like influenza, coronavirus, strep, common colds and more share similar symptoms, and symptoms care vary for the same disease from patient to patient. 

"We've really tried to be there for the community," Powell said. "It's definitely been uncharted territory for anyone in health care."

Trending Video

Recommended for you