Local medical facility enforces health restrictions


Trisha Valdez

Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. Screening tent at Desert Oasis. Healthcare in Palm Springs, Calif.

COVID-19 has caused many medical servers to be either shut down or only to be operated online. Desert Oasis Health Care in Palm Springs, Calif. however, is still offering inside services for their patients.

Desert Oasis is a health care facility that treats patients of all ages, from orthopedic issues to vaccines and any other patient needs.

Because of COVID-19, the facility has precautions to protect their patients and the staff. According to Joe Adams, director of the patient service and telecommunications, “Patients are screened by staff taking their temperatures, and completing COVID-19 questionnaires. Patients and staff are required to wear masks. Once a patient passes screening, they are given a yellow sticker to place on their shirt or blouse. Without the sticker, patients are not able to enter the building.”

Another safety measure the facility takes is making sure that the patients’ guests wait outside. To practice social distancing, they try to make sure not to have too many people in the waiting room, and the way to do this is by not having more people than you need to. After the patient is out of their seat, one of the staff members will sanitize all the seats to prevent germs.

There are different job titles for everyone, such as a concierge. The concierge consists of the people ready to greet you right when you enter the facility.

David Aguirre is one of the concierges interviewed at Desert Oasis. He talks about his experiences with patients, negative and positive.

“One positive expression is when people acknowledge that you’re there to help them and not there to make their life any more difficult than it is or when they just thank you and compliment you,” said Aguirre.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the everyday case. He discusses how patients can be very ungrateful most of the time and are in a rush for no reason. He mentioned some patients hate the screening, think it’s long and pointless.

Many patients don’t understand the importance of the screening, which is to keep everyone safe. When first entering the facility, they have you park your car in front of one of their tents and then take your temperature just like they do in the doctor’s office.

If your temperature does not reach the requirements, you will be sent to a screening room with registered doctors and nurses. They will ask you a series of questions, and they will have the final say whether you have to go inside Medicare or to an Emergency room.

Other workers at Desert Oasis have had their fair share of difficult patients. Veronica Romero, a reception and scheduler for the orthopedic department, talks about the top complaint she receives.

“The top complaint I receive is, why can’t a patient’s guest wait in the waiting room with them. We explain to the guest that we are practicing social distancing and kindly ask them to wait outside until the patient is in the room, then we can have the guest escort them,” said Romero.

Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. The waiting room at Desert Oasis.
Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. The waiting room at Desert Oasis in Palm Springs, Calif.

Handling patients who give you a hard time can be complicated for some workers, but the staff here at Desert Oasis know how to handle it. Romero likes to go on walks during her breaks to have a change of scenery.

Adams seeks to understand the patient’s perspective. “I don’t take things personally, even if the patients attempt to make it personal. I remind myself that the patient is hurting and speaking from a place of pain. Most people who are hurting physically or emotionally will hurt others without regard for who they are or how much they are hurting them.”

Sometimes the harsh words patients might say can negatively affect the workers who are just doing their job helping others. Although we are all human and make mistakes, we must always remember the people we talk to are human and have hearts.

The workers at Desert Oasis explain that they are doing their absolute best to make sure everyone is safe in their facility. Even if the process seems long, it has a purpose.

“Please practice kindness, patience, and understanding while visiting any medical office or business that is open in this time of the Covid pandemic. We are trying our very best to keep everyone safe, well trying to maintain some normalcy,” said Romero.

Adams wants people to know that everyone in the healthcare process is important, “Even though most patients see the physician, every staff here at Desert Oasis Health care is important. From the receptionist to the concierge to the pharmacist or physician assistant, each one is vital to providing patients with quality care. Here at Desert Oasis, we care for our patients.”

The staff wants to remind all visitors to be kind and courteous to the workers trying to keep patients safe.